Phosphorylation of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain Y1S2P3T4S5P6S7 consensus sequence coordinates key events during transcription, and its deregulation leads to defects in transcription and RNA processing. Here, we report that the histone deacetylase activity of the fission yeast Hos2/Set3 complex plays an important role in suppressing cryptic initiation of antisense transcription when RNA polymerase II phosphorylation is dysregulated due to the loss of Ssu72 phosphatase. Interestingly, although single Hos2 and Set3 mutants have little effect, loss of Hos2 or Set3 combined with ssu72Δ results in a synergistic increase in antisense transcription globally and correlates with elevated sensitivity to genotoxic agents. We demonstrate a key role for the Ssu72/Hos2/Set3 mechanism in the suppression of cryptic antisense transcription at the 3′ end of convergent genes that are most susceptible to these defects, ensuring the fidelity of gene expression within dense genomes of simple eukaryotes.
- convergent genes
- cryptic antisense transcription
- histone deacetylase
- Hos2/Set3 complex
- RNA polymerase II phosphorylation
- Ssu72 phosphatase
- transcription termination