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Bidirectional promoters are a common feature of many eukaryotic organisms from yeast to humans. RNA Polymerase II that is recruited to this type of promoter can start transcribing in either direction using alternative DNA strands as the template. Such promiscuous transcription can lead to the synthesis of unwanted transcripts that may have negative effects on gene expression. Recent studies have identified transcription termination and gene looping as critical players in the enforcement of promoter directionality. Interestingly, both mechanisms share key components. Here, we focus on recent findings relating to the transcriptional output of bidirectional promoters.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Biochem Sci

Publication Date





319 - 327


bidirectional promoters, gene loops, transcriptional termination, Animals, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA Polymerase II, RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional, Transcription Termination, Genetic