A role for the Cajal-body-associated SUMO isopeptidase USPL1 in snRNA transcription mediated by RNA polymerase II

Saskia Hutten, Georgia Chachami, Ulrike Winter, Frauke Melchior, Angus I. Lamond (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Cajal bodies are nuclear structures that are involved in biogenesis of snRNPs and snoRNPs, maintenance of telomeres and processing of histone mRNA. Recently, the SUMO isopeptidase USPL1 was identified as a component of Cajal bodies that is essential for cellular growth and Cajal body integrity. However, a cellular function for USPL1 is so far unknown. Here, we use RNAi-mediated knockdown in human cells in combination with biochemical and fluorescence microscopy approaches to investigate the function of USPL1 and its link to Cajal bodies. We demonstrate that levels of snRNAs transcribed by RNA polymerase (RNAP) II are reduced upon knockdown of USPL1 and that downstream processes such as snRNP assembly and pre-mRNA splicing are compromised. Importantly, we find that USPL1 associates directly with U snRNA loci and that it interacts and colocalises with components of the Little Elongation Complex, which is involved in RNAPII-mediated snRNA transcription. Thus, our data indicate that USPL1 plays a key role in RNAPII-mediated snRNA transcription.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1065-1078
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Cell Science
    Issue number5
    Early online date10 Jan 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014



    • Cell Line, Tumor
    • Cell Nucleus
    • Coiled Bodies
    • Endopeptidases
    • Genetic Loci
    • HEK293 Cells
    • Humans
    • Protein Multimerization
    • Protein Transport
    • RNA Polymerase II
    • RNA Precursors
    • RNA Splicing
    • RNA, Small Nuclear
    • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear
    • Transcription, Genetic

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