Tissue-specific RNA Polymerase II promoter-proximal pause release and burst kinetics in a Drosophila embryonic patterning network.

Hunt G, Vaid R, Pirogov S, Pfab A, Ziegenhain C, Sandberg R, ReimegÄrd J, Mannervik M

Genome Biol. 25 (1) 2 [2024-01-02; online 2024-01-02]

Formation of tissue-specific transcriptional programs underlies multicellular development, including dorsoventral (DV) patterning of the Drosophila embryo. This involves interactions between transcriptional enhancers and promoters in a chromatin context, but how the chromatin landscape influences transcription is not fully understood. Here we comprehensively resolve differential transcriptional and chromatin states during Drosophila DV patterning. We find that RNA Polymerase II pausing is established at DV promoters prior to zygotic genome activation (ZGA), that pausing persists irrespective of cell fate, but that release into productive elongation is tightly regulated and accompanied by tissue-specific P-TEFb recruitment. DV enhancers acquire distinct tissue-specific chromatin states through CBP-mediated histone acetylation that predict the transcriptional output of target genes, whereas promoter states are more tissue-invariant. Transcriptome-wide inference of burst kinetics in different cell types revealed that while DV genes are generally characterized by a high burst size, either burst size or frequency can differ between tissues. The data suggest that pausing is established by pioneer transcription factors prior to ZGA and that release from pausing is imparted by enhancer chromatin state to regulate bursting in a tissue-specific manner in the early embryo. Our results uncover how developmental patterning is orchestrated by tissue-specific bursts of transcription from Pol II primed promoters in response to enhancer regulatory cues.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

PubMed 38166964

DOI 10.1186/s13059-023-03135-0

Crossref 10.1186/s13059-023-03135-0

pmc: PMC10763363
pii: 10.1186/s13059-023-03135-0

Publications 9.5.0