The yeast PAF (yPAF) complex interacts with RNA polymerase II and coordinates the setting of histone marks associated with active transcription. We report the isolation and functional characterization of the human PAF (hPAF) complex. hPAF shares four subunits with yPAF (hCtr9, hPaf1, hLeo1, and hCdc73), but contains a novel higher eukaryotic-specific subunit, hSki8. RNAi against hSki8 or hCtr9 reduces the cellular levels of other hPAF subunits and of mono- and trimethylated H3-Lys 4 and dimethylated H3-Lys 79. The hSki8 subunit is also a component of the human SKI (hSKI) complex. Yeast SKI complex is cytoplasmic and together with Exosome mediates 3'-5' mRNA degradation. However, hSKI complex localizes to both nucleus and cytoplasm. Immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that hPAF and hSKI complexes interact, and ChIP experiments demonstrated that hSKI associates with transcriptionally active genes dependent on the presence of hPAF. Thus, in addition to coordinating events during transcription (initiation, promoter clearance, and elongation), hPAF also coordinates events in RNA quality control.
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