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Interplay of positive and negative effectors in function of the C-terminal repeat domain of RNA polymerase II

Li, Y., Kornberg, R.D.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1994 v.91 no.6 pp. 2362-2366
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, DNA-directed RNA polymerase, enzyme activity, phosphorylation, transcription (genetics)
RNA polymerase II lacking a C-terminal domain (CTD) was active in transcription with purified proteins from yeast but failed to support transcription in a yeast extract. CTD dependence could be reconstituted in the purified system by addition of two fractions from the extract. An inhibitory fraction abolished transcription by both wild-type and CTD-less RNA polymerases; a stimulatory fraction restored activity of the wild-type polymerase but had a much lesser effect on the CTD-less enzyme. Parallel results were obtained with the use of a kinase inhibitor that prevents phosphorylation of the CTD by RNA polymerase II initiation factor b. The kinase inhibitor abolished transcription by wild-type polymerase in yeast extract but had no significant effect in the purified system. The requirement for both the CTD and kinase action for transcription in an extract indicates that CTD phosphorylation is involved in opposing the negative effector in the extract. Factor b must play a role(s) in addition to phosphorylation of the CTD because it was still required for transcription with polymerase lacking a CTD in the purified system.