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Science. 2004 Feb 13;303(5660):1014-6.

Structural basis of transcription: separation of RNA from DNA by RNA polymerase II.

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  • 1Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5126, USA.


The structure of an RNA polymerase II-transcribing complex has been determined in the posttranslocation state, with a vacancy at the growing end of the RNA-DNA hybrid helix. At the opposite end of the hybrid helix, the RNA separates from the template DNA. This separation of nucleic acid strands is brought about by interaction with a set of proteins loops in a strand/loop network. Formation of the network must occur in the transition from abortive initiation to promoter escape.

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