mRNA cap methyltransferase, RNMT-RAM, promotes RNA pol II-dependent transcription

Dhaval Varshney, Olivia Lombardi, Gabriele Schweikert, Sianadh Dunn, Olga Suska, Victoria Cowling (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
247 Downloads (Pure)


mRNA cap addition occurs early during RNA pol II-dependent transcription, facilitating premRNA processing and translation. We report that the mammalian mRNA cap methyltransferase, RNMT-RAM, promotes RNA pol II transcription, independently of mRNA capping and translation. In cells, sub-lethal suppression of RNMT-RAM reduces RNA pol II occupancy, net mRNA synthesis and pre-mRNA levels. Conversely, expression of RNMTRAM increases transcription independently of cap methyltransferase activity. In isolated nuclei, recombinant RNMT-RAM stimulates transcriptional output; this requires the RAM RNAbinding domain. RNMT-RAM interacts with nascent transcripts along their entire length and with transcription-associated factors including RNA pol II subunits, SPT4, SPT6 and PAFc. Suppression of RNMT-RAM inhibits transcriptional markers including histone H2B K120 ubiquitination, H3 K4 and K36 methylation, RNA pol II CTD S5 and S2 phosphorylation and PAFc recruitment. These findings suggest that multiple interactions between RNMT-RAM, RNA pol II factors and RNA along the transcription unit stimulate transcription.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1530-1542
Number of pages13
JournalCell Reports
Issue number5
Early online date2 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • PAF complex
  • RAM
  • RNA guanine-7 methyltransferase
  • RNA polymerase II
  • RNMT
  • iCLIP
  • mRNA
  • mRNA cap
  • transcription
  • transcription checkpoint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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