Distinct patterns of RNA polymerase II and transcriptional elongation characterize mammalian genome activation
Kenichiro Abe, Tamas Schauer, Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla (2022 Dec 27) Distinct patterns of RNA polymerase II and transcriptional elongation characterize mammalian genome activation. Cell Reports 41:13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111865
Summary cited from the article:
How transcription is regulated as development commences is fundamental to understand how the transcriptionally silent mature gametes are reprogrammed. The embryonic genome is activated for the first time during zygotic genome activation (ZGA). How RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and productive elongation are regulated during this process remains elusive. Here, we generate genome-wide maps of Serine 5 and Serine 2-phosphorylated Pol II during and after ZGA in mouse embryos. We find that both phosphorylated Pol II forms display similar distributions across genes during ZGA, with typical elongation enrichment of Pol II emerging after ZGA. Serine 2-phosphorylated Pol II occurs at genes prior to their activation, suggesting that Serine 2 phosphorylation may prime gene expression. Functional perturbations demonstrate that CDK9 and SPT5 are major ZGA regulators and that SPT5 prevents precocious activation of some genes. Overall, our work sheds molecular insights into transcriptional regulation at the beginning of mammalian development.