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CMTR1 (cap methyltransferase 1) catalyses methylation of the first transcribed nucleotide of RNAPII transcripts (N1 2′-O-Me), creating part of the mammalian RNA cap structure. In addition to marking RNA as self, N1 2′-O-Me has ill-defined roles in RNA expression and translation. Here we investigated the gene specificity of CMTR1 and its impact on RNA expression in embryonic stem cells. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, CMTR1 was found to bind to transcription start sites (TSS) correlating with RNAPII levels, predominantly binding at histone genes and ribosomal protein (RP) genes. Repression of CMTR1 expression resulted in repression of RNAPII binding at the TSS and repression of RNA expression, particularly of histone and RP genes. In correlation with regulation of histones and RP genes, CMTR1 repression resulted in repression of translation and induction of DNA replication stress and damage. Indicating a direct role for CMTR1 in transcription, addition of recombinant CMTR1 to purified nuclei increased transcription of the histone and RP genes. CMTR1 was found to be upregulated during neural differentiation and there was an enhanced requirement for CMTR1 for gene expression and proliferation during this process. We highlight the distinct roles of the cap methyltransferases RNMT and CMTR1 in target gene expression and differentiation.
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- 2 Finished
1/07/18 → 30/06/23