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Super-enhancers (SEs) mediate high transcription levels of target genes. Previous studies have shown that SEs recruit transcription complexes and generate enhancer RNAs (eRNAs). We characterized transcription at the human and murine β-globin locus control region (LCR) SE. We found that the human LCR is capable of recruiting transcription complexes independently from linked globin genes in transgenic mice. Furthermore, LCR hypersensitive site 2 (HS2) initiates the formation of bidirectional transcripts in transgenic mice and in the endogenous β-globin gene locus in murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells. HS2 3'eRNA is relatively unstable and remains in close proximity to the globin gene locus. Reducing the abundance of HS2 3'eRNA leads to a reduction in β-globin gene transcription and compromises RNA polymerase II (Pol II) recruitment at the promoter. The Integrator complex has been shown to terminate eRNA transcription. We demonstrate that Integrator interacts downstream of LCR HS2. Inducible ablation of Integrator function in MEL or differentiating primary human CD34+ cells causes a decrease in expression of the adult β-globin gene and accumulation of Pol II and eRNA at the LCR. The data suggest that transcription complexes are assembled at the LCR and transferred to the globin genes by mechanisms that involve Integrator mediated release of Pol II and eRNA from the LCR. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


Aishwarya Gurumurthy, David T Yu, Jared R Stees, Pamela Chamales, Ekaterina Gavrilova, Paul Wassel, Lu Li, Daniel Stribling, Jinyang Chen, Marissa Brackett, Alexander M Ishov, Mingyi Xie, Jörg Bungert. Super-enhancer mediated regulation of adult β-globin gene expression: the role of eRNA and Integrator. Nucleic acids research. 2021 Feb 22;49(3):1383-1396

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PMID: 33476375

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