Molecular Cell, 11 July, 2019，DOI：https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2019.05.007
RNA Targets Ribogenesis Factor WDR43 to Chromatin for Transcription and Pluripotency Control
Xianju Bi, Yanhui Xu, Tong Li, Xinmin Li, Wenzhi Li, Wen Shao, Kaili Wang, Ge Zhan, Zhongyang Wu, Wei Liu, J. Yuyang Lu, Liang Wang, Jicheng Zhao, Jiawei Wu, Jie Na, Guohong Li, Pilong Li, Xiaohua Shen
Transcription regulation underlies stem cell function and development. Here, we elucidate an unexpected role of an essential ribogenesis factor, WDR43, as a chromatin-associated RNA-binding protein (RBP) and release factor in modulating the polymerase (Pol) II activity for pluripotency regulation. WDR43 binds prominently to promoter-associated noncoding/nascent RNAs, occupies thousands of gene promoters and enhancers, and interacts with the Pol II machinery in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Nascent transcripts and transcription recruit WDR43 to active promoters, where WDR43 facilitates releases of the elongation factor P-TEFb and paused Pol II. Knockdown of WDR43 causes genome-wide defects in Pol II release and pluripotency-associated gene expression. Importantly, auxin-mediated rapid degradation of WDR43 drastically reduces Pol II activity, precluding indirect consequences. These results reveal an RNA-mediated recruitment and feedforward regulation on transcription and demonstrate an unforeseen role of an RBP in promoting Pol II elongation and coordinating high-level transcription and translation in ESC pluripotency.