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Publication : Cdk12 Is A Gene-Selective RNA Polymerase II Kinase That Regulates a Subset of the Transcriptome, Including Nrf2 Target Genes.

First Author  Li Xuan Year  2016
Journal  Sci Rep Volume  6
Pages  21455 PubMed ID  26911346
Abstract Text  The Nrf2 transcription factor is well conserved throughout metazoan evolution and serves as a central regulator of adaptive cellular responses to oxidative stress. We carried out an RNAi screen in Drosophila S2 cells to better understand the regulatory mechanisms governing Nrf2 target gene expression. This paper describes the identification and characterization of the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) kinase Cdk12 as a factor that is required for Nrf2 target gene expression in cell culture and in vivo. Cdk12 is, however, not essential for bulk mRNA transcription and cells lacking CDK12 function are viable and able to proliferate. Consistent with previous findings on the DNA damage and heat shock responses, it emerges that Cdk12 may be specifically required for stress activated gene expression. Transcriptome analysis revealed that antioxidant gene expression is compromised in flies with reduced Cdk12 function, which makes them oxidative stress sensitive. In addition to supporting Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) induced gene activation, Cdk12 suppresses genes that support metabolic functions in stressed conditions. We suggest that Cdk12 acts as a gene-selective Pol II kinase that engages a global shift in gene expression to switch cells from a metabolically active state to "stress-defence mode"when challenged by external stress. Doi  10.1038/srep21455
Month  Feb

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