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Methods review: Mass spectrometry analysis of RNAPII complexes

Burriss, Katlyn Hughes, Mosley, Amber L.
Methods 2019 v.159-160 pp. 105-114
DNA-directed RNA polymerase, RNA, crosslinking, eukaryotic cells, mass spectrometry, phosphorylation, physiological transport, protein subunits, protein-protein interactions, proteins, proteomics, stoichiometry, structural genomics
RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII) is responsible for transcribing multiple RNA species throughout eukaryotes. A variety of protein-protein interactions occur throughout the transcription cycle for coordinated regulation of transcription initiation, elongation, and/or termination. Taking a proteomics approach to study RNAPII transcription thereby offers a comprehensive view of both RNAPII biology and the variety of proteins that regulate the process itself. This review will focus on how mass spectrometry (MS) methods have expanded understanding of RNAPII and its transcription-regulatory interaction partners. The application of affinity purification mass spectrometry has led to the discovery of a number of novel groups of proteins that regulate an array of RNAPII biology ranging from nuclear import to regulation of phosphorylation state. Additionally, a number of methods have been developed using mass spectrometry to measure protein subunit stoichiometry within and across protein complexes and to perform various types of architectural analysis using structural proteomics approaches. The key methods that we will focus on related to RNAPII mass spectrometry analyses include: affinity purification mass spectrometry, protein post-translational modification analysis, crosslinking mass spectrometry, and native mass spectrometry.