The role of SAGA coactivator complex in snRNA transcription

<p>The general snRNA gene transcription apparatus has been extensively studied. However, the role of coactivators in this process is far from being clearly understood. Here, we have demonstrated that the <i>Drosophila</i> SAGA complex interacts with the PBP complex, the key component of the snRNA gene transcription apparatus, and is present at the promoter regions of the snRNA genes transcribed by both the RNA polymerase II and RNA polymerase III (U6 snRNA). We show that SAGA interacts with the Brf1 transcription factor, which is a part of the RNA polymerase III transcription apparatus and is present at promoters of a number of Pol III-transcribed genes. Mutations inactivating several SAGA subunit genes resulted in reduced snRNA levels in adult flies, indicating that SAGA is indeed the transcriptional coactivator for the snRNA genes. The transcription of the Pol II and Pol III-transcribed U genes was reduced by mutations in all tested SAGA complex subunits. Therefore, the transcription of the Pol II and Pol III-transcribed U genes was reduced by the mutations in the deubiquitinase module, as well as in the acetyltransferase module of the SAGA, indicating that the whole complex is essential for their transcription. Therefore, the SAGA complex activates snRNA genes suggesting its wide involvement in the regulation of gene transcription, and consequently, in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis.</p>