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Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Jul;34(13):2488-98. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00181-14. Epub 2014 Apr 21.

Function and control of RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain phosphorylation in vertebrate transcription and RNA processing.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
  • 2Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA


The C-terminal domain of the RNA polymerase II largest subunit (the Rpb1 CTD) is composed of tandem heptad repeats of the consensus sequence Y(1)S(2)P(3)T(4)S(5)P(6)S(7). We reported previously that Thr 4 is phosphorylated and functions in histone mRNA 3'-end formation in chicken DT40 cells. Here, we have extended our studies on Thr 4 and to other CTD mutations by using these cells. We found that an Rpb1 derivative containing only the N-terminal half of the CTD, as well as a similar derivative containing all-consensus repeats (26r), conferred full viability, while the C-terminal half, with more-divergent repeats, did not, reflecting a strong and specific defect in snRNA 3'-end formation. Mutation in 26r of all Ser 2 (S2A) or Ser 5 (S5A) residues resulted in lethality, while Ser 7 (S7A) mutants were fully viable. While S2A and S5A cells displayed defects in transcription and RNA processing, S7A cells behaved identically to 26r cells in all respects. Finally, we found that Thr 4 was phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent kinase 9 in cells and dephosphorylated both in vitro and in vivo by the phosphatase Fcp1.

Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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