TitlePaused RNA polymerase II as a developmental checkpoint.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLevine, M
Date Published2011 May 13
KeywordsAnimals, Drosophila melanogaster, Embryonic Stem Cells, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Gene Regulatory Networks, Humans, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA Polymerase II

The textbook view of gene activation is that the rate-limiting step is the interaction of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) with the gene's promoter. However, studies in a variety of systems, including human embryonic stem cells and the early Drosophila embryo, have begun to challenge this view. There is increasing evidence that differential gene expression often depends on the regulation of transcription elongation via the release of Pol II from the proximal promoter. I review the implications of this mechanism of gene activation with respect to the orderly unfolding of complex gene networks governing animal development.

Alternate JournalCell