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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2002 Feb;12(1):89-97.

Multisubunit RNA polymerases.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, Gene Center, University of Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Strasse 25, 81377, Munich, Germany.


Transcription of the genetic information in all cells is carried out by multisubunit RNA polymerases (RNAPs). Comparison of the crystal structures of a bacterial and a eukaryotic RNAP reveals a conserved core that comprises the active site and a multifunctional clamp. Together with a further structure of eukaryotic RNAP bound to DNA and RNA, these results elucidate many aspects of the transcription mechanism, including initiation, elongation, nucleotide addition, processivity and proofreading.

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