Publication date: Sep 25, 2019
Spt5 is a conserved and essential transcription elongation factor that promotes promoter-proximal pausing, promoter escape, elongation, and mRNA processing. Spt5 plays specific roles in the transcription of inflammation and stress-induced genes and tri-nucleotide expanded-repeat genes involved in inherited neurological pathologies. Here, we report the identification of Spt5-Pol II small-molecule inhibitors (SPIs). SPIs faithfully reproduced Spt5 knockdown effects on promoter-proximal pausing, NF-_705B activation, and expanded-repeat huntingtin gene transcription. Using SPIs, we identified Spt5 target genes that responded with profoundly diverse kinetics. SPIs uncovered the regulatory role of Spt5 in metabolism via GDF15, a food intake- and body weight-inhibitory hormone. SPIs further unveiled a role for Spt5 in promoting the 3′ end processing of histone genes. While several SPIs affect all Spt5 functions, a few inhibit a single one, implying uncoupling and selective targeting of Spt5 activities. SPIs expand the understanding of Spt5-Pol II functions and are potential drugs against metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
Bahat, A., Lahav, O., Plotnikov, A., Leshkowitz, D., and Dikstein, R. Targeting Spt5-Pol II by Small-Molecule Inhibitors Uncouples Distinct Activities and Reveals Additional Regulatory Roles. 06700. 2019 Mol Cell.