RNA Polymerase III Subunit POLR3G Regulates Specific Subsets of PolyA+ and SmallRNA Transcriptomes and Splicing in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Riikka J. Lund
  • Nelly Rahkonen
  • Maia Malonzo

  • Leni Kauko
  • Maheswara Reddy Emani
  • Virpi Kivinen
  • Elisa Närvä
  • Esko Kemppainen
  • Asta Laiho
  • Heli Skottman
  • Outi Hovatta
  • Omid Rasool
  • Matti Nykter
  • Harri Lähdesmäki

  • Riitta Lahesmaa

Research units

  • Åbo Akademi University
  • Tampere University
  • Karolinska Institutet


POLR3G is expressed at high levels in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and is required for maintenance of stem cell state through mechanisms not known in detail. To explore how POLR3G regulates stem cell state, we carried out deep-sequencing analysis of polyA+ and smallRNA transcriptomes present in hPSCs and regulated in POLR3G-dependent manner. Our data reveal that POLR3G regulates a specific subset of the hPSC transcriptome, including multiple transcript types, such as protein-coding genes, long intervening non-coding RNAs, microRNAs and small nucleolar RNAs, and affects RNA splicing. The primary function of POLR3G is in the maintenance rather than repression of transcription. The majority of POLR3G polyA+ transcriptome is regulated during differentiation, and the key pluripotency factors bind to the promoters of at least 30% of the POLR3G-regulated transcripts. Among the direct targets of POLR3G, POLG is potentially important in sustaining stem cell status in a POLR3G-dependent manner.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1442-1454
Number of pages13
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • human embryonic stem cell, mitochondria, pluripotency, polyA RNA, polymerase III, smallRNA, splicing, transcriptome

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