Terminate and make a loop: regulation of transcriptional directionality

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  • Sir William Dunn School of Pathology


Bidirectional promoters are a common feature of many eukaryotic organisms from yeast to humans. RNA Polymerase II that is recruited to this type of promoter can start transcribing in either direction using alternative DNA strands as the template. Such promiscuous transcription can lead to the synthesis of unwanted transcripts that may have negative effects on gene expression. Recent studies have identified transcription termination and gene looping as critical players in the enforcement of promoter directionality. Interestingly, both mechanisms share key components. Here, we focus on recent findings relating to the transcriptional output of bidirectional promoters.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number7
Early online date10 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Bidirectional promoters, Gene loops, Transcriptional termination