Dr. Xiong Ji published a paper in Nature Communications.
RNA polymerase II (Pol II) apparatuses are compartmentalized into transcriptional clusters. Whether protein factors control these clusters remains unknown. In this study, we find that the ATPase-associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA + ) ATPase RUVBL2 co-occupies promoters with Pol II and various transcription factors. RUVBL2 interacts with unphosphorylated Pol II in chromatin to promote RPB1 carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) clustering and transcription initiation. Rapid depletion of RUVBL2 leads to a decrease in the number of Pol II clusters and inhibits nascent RNA synthesis, and tethering RUVBL2 to an active promoter enhances Pol II clustering at the promoter. We also identify target genes that are directly linked to the RUVBL2-Pol II axis. Many of these genes are hallmarks of cancers and encode proteins with diverse cellular functions. Our results demonstrate an emerging activity for RUVBL2 in regulating Pol II cluster formation in the nucleus.