The transcription-related DNA damage response was analyzed on a genome-wide scale with great spatial and temporal resolution. Upon UV irradiation, a slow- down of transcript elongation and restriction of gene activity to the promoter-proximal $25 kb is observed. This is associated with a shift from expression of long mRNAs to shorter isoforms, incorporating alternative last exons (ALEs) that are more proximal to the transcription start site. Notably, this includes a shift from a protein-coding ASCC3 mRNA to a shorter ALE isoform of which the RNA, rather than an encoded protein, is critical for the eventual recovery of transcription. The non-coding ASCC3 isoform counteracts the function of the protein-coding iso- form, indicating crosstalk between them. Thus, the ASCC3 gene expresses both coding and non-coding transcript isoforms with opposite effects on transcrip- tion recovery after UV-induced DNA damage.