Abstract: It has recently been shown that CFIm25, a canonical mRNA 3’ processing factor, could play a variety of physiological roles through its molecular function in the regulation of mRNA alternative polyadenylation (APA). Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing approach in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) for CFIm25, and obtained three gene knockdown/mutant cell lines. CFIm25 gene editing resulted in higher proliferation rate and impaired differentiation potential for hESCs, with these effects likely to be directly regulated by the target genes, including the pluripotency factor rex1. Mechanistically, we unexpected found that perturbation in CFIm25 gene expression did not significantly affect cellular mRNA 3’ processing efficiency and APA profile. Rather, we provided evidences that CFIm25 may impact RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) occupancy at the body of transcribed genes, and promote the expression level of a group of transcripts associated with cellular proliferation and/or differentiation. Further study indicated that CFIm25 association with LEO1, an RNAPII associated factor, might contribute to the effect. Taken together, these results reveal novel mechanisms underlying CFIm25’s modulation in determination of cell fate, and provide evidence that the process of mammalian gene transcription may be regulated by an mRNA 3’ processing factor.

Journal Link: 10.1101/2021.12.08.471721 Journal Link: Publisher Website Journal Link: Download PDF Journal Link: Google Scholar