Reconstruction of a gene with its introns removed results in reduced levels of cytoplasmic mRNA. This is partly explained by introns promoting the export of mRNA through coupling splicing to nuclear export processes. However, we show here that splicing signals can have a direct role in enhancing gene transcription. Removal of promoter proximal splice signals from a mammalian gene or the excision of introns from two different yeast genes results in a marked reduction in levels of nascent transcription, based on both nuclear run-on and direct image analysis. This further establishes that mRNA processing and transcription are tightly coupled mechanisms.