Transcription and splicing are fundamental steps in gene expression. These processes have been studied intensively over the past four decades, and very recent findings are challenging some of the formerly established ideas. In particular, splicing was shown to occur much faster than previously thought, with the first spliced products observed as soon as splice junctions emerge from RNA polymerase II (Pol II). Splicing was also found coupled to a specific phosphorylation pattern of Pol II carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD), suggesting a new layer of complexity in the CTD code. Moreover, phosphorylation of the CTD may be scarcer than expected, and other post-translational modifications of the CTD are emerging with unanticipated roles in gene expression regulation.
Co-transcriptional splicing and the CTD code.