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Genes Dev. 2005 Jun 15;19(12):1401-15.

A structural perspective of CTD function.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Gene Center, University of Munich (LMU), 81377 Munich, Germany.


The C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) integrates nuclear events by binding proteins involved in mRNA biogenesis. CTD-binding proteins recognize a specific CTD phosphorylation pattern, which changes during the transcription cycle, due to the action of CTD-modifying enzymes. Structural and functional studies of CTD-binding and -modifying proteins now reveal some of the mechanisms underlying CTD function. Proteins recognize CTD phosphorylation patterns either directly, by contacting phosphorylated residues, or indirectly, without contact to the phosphate. The catalytic mechanisms of CTD kinases and phosphatases are known, but the basis for CTD specificity of these enzymes remains to be understood.

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