Mec1, INO80, and the PAF1 complex cooperate to limit transcription replication conflicts through RNAPII removal during replication stress
Little is known about how cells ensure DNA replication in the face of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII)-mediated transcription, especially under conditions of replicative stress. Here we present genetic and proteomic analyses from budding yeast that uncover links between the DNA replication checkpoint sensor Mec1–Ddc2 (ATR–ATRIP), the chromatin remodeling complex INO80C (INO80 complex), and the transcription complex PAF1C (PAF1 complex). We found that a subset of chromatin-bound RNAPII is degraded in a manner dependent on Mec1, INO80, and PAF1 complexes in cells exposed to hydroxyurea (HU). On HU, Mec1 triggers the efficient removal of PAF1C and RNAPII from transcribed genes near early firing origins. Failure to evict RNAPII correlates inversely with recovery from replication stress: paf1Δ cells, like ino80 and mec1 mutants, fail to restart forks efficiently after stalling. Our data reveal unexpected synergies between INO80C, Mec1, and PAF1C in the maintenance of genome integrity and suggest a mechanism of RNAPII degradation that reduces transcription–replication fork collision.