Transcriptional properties of mammalian elongin a and its role in stress response

Junya Kawauchi, Makoto Inoue, Mizue Fukuda, Yohei Uchida, Takashi Yasukawa, Ronald C. Conaway, Joan W. Conaway, Teijiro Aso, Shigetaka Kitajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Transcriptional elongation is a rate-limiting step in activation of stress response genes. Results: Optimal expression of stress response regulator ATF3 requires the elongation activity but not the ubiquitination activity of Elongin A. Conclusion: Elongin A plays a key role for the adequate expression of ATF3 in vivo. Significance: RNAPII ubiquitination and transcriptional elongation are independent activities of Elongin A. Elongin A was shown previously to be capable of potently activating the rate of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription elongation in vitro by suppressing transient pausing by the enzyme at many sites along DNA templates. The role of Elongin A in RNAPII transcription in mammalian cells, however, has not been clearly established. In this report, we investigate the function of Elongin A in RNAPII transcription. We present evidence that Elongin A associates with the IIO form of RNAPII at sites of newly transcribed RNA and is relocated to dotlike domains distinct from those containing RNAPII when cells are treated with the kinase inhibitor 5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole. Significantly, Elongin A is required for maximal induction of transcription of the stress response genes ATF3 and p21 in response to several stimuli. Evidence from structure-function studies argues that Elongin A transcription elongation activity, but not its ubiquitination activity, is most important for its function in induction of transcription of ATF3 and p21. Taken together, our data provide new insights into the function of Elongin A in RNAPII transcription and bring to light a previously unrecognized role for Elongin A in the regulation of stress response genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24302-24315
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 23 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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