Gregersen Group

The focus of the lab is to understand regulation of transcription and co-transcriptional processing in human cells using a combination of molecular cell biology techniques, and high-throughput sequencing.

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Transcriptional integrity is critical for all cellular functions, as mRNA transcripts are the basis for all protein products. RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is responsible for transcription of the vast majority of protein-coding genes as well as a number of non-coding RNAs. Correct co-transcriptional processing of the nascent RNA transcript is dependent on the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNAPII. In humans, the CTD consists of 52 heptapeptide repeats with the consensus sequence Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7. The CTD is dynamically phosphorylated and serves as a binding platform of RNAPII-associated factors with certain phosphorylation states enriched in the beginning of the gene and others around termination sites. RNA-binding proteins are a key group of proteins responsible for co-transcriptional processing. Many of them recognize specific phosphorylation states of the RNAPII CTD and associate with the transcription machinery at certain stages during the transcription cycle to dictate correct maturation of nascent RNA transcripts.

figure 1

Initially when RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) binds to the promoter region, its C-terminal domain (CTD) is unphosphorylated. As RNAPII elongates into the gene body, the CTD becomes heavily phosphorylated and the phosphorylation continues to change dynamically through the transcription cycle, to facilitate recruitment of factors involved in maturing of the RNA transcript as well as factors regulating the transcription cycle itself.

We aim to understand fundamental biological mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation and processing of nascent RNA in mammalian cells and how misregulation of these processes contribute to human disease such as cancer. We are especially interested in understanding how proteins interacting with the CTD of RNAPII impact co-transcriptional RNA processing events and how these processes are regulated.

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  • Pappas G, Munk SHN, Watanabe K, Thomas Q, Gál Z, Gram HH, Lee M, Gómez-Cabello D, Kanellis DC, Olivares-Chauvet P, Larsen DH, Gregersen LH, Maya-Mendoza A, Galanos P, Bartek J. MDC1 maintains active elongation complexes of RNA polymerase II. Cell Rep 2023 Jan, 42(1):111979

  • Gregersen LH, Mitter R and Svejstrup JQ. Elongation factor-specific capture of RNA polymerase II complexes. Cell Rep Methods 2022 Dec, 2(12):100368

  • Gregersen LH, Mitter R, Svejstrup JQ. Using TTchem-seq for profiling nascent transcription and measuring transcript elongation. Nat Protoc. 2020 Feb;15(2):604-627.

  • Zatreanu D, Han Z, Mitter R, Tumini E, Williams H, Gregersen LH, Dirac-Svejstrup AB, Roma S, Stewart A, Aguilera A, Svejstrup JQ. Elongation Factor TFIIS Prevents Transcription Stress and R-Loop Accumulation to Maintain Genome Stability. Mol Cell. 2019 March 3, 76(1), 57-69

  • Gregersen LH, Mitter R, Ugalde AP, Nojima T, Proudfoot NJ, Agami R, Stewart A, Svejstrup JQ. SCAF4 and SCAF8, mRNA Anti-Terminator Proteins. Cell. 2019 Jun 13;177(7):1797-1813.e18.

  • Gregersen LH, Svejstrup JQ. The Cellular Response to Transcription-Blocking DNA Damage. Trends Biochem Sci. 2018 May;43(5):327-341.

  • Gregersen LH, Schueler M, Munschauer M, Mastrobuoni G, Chen W, Kempa S, Dieterich C, Landthaler M. MOV10 Is a 5' to 3' RNA helicase contributing to UPF1 mRNA target degradation by translocation along 3' UTRs. Mol Cell. 2014 May 22;54(4):573-85.




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