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Cell. 1987 Oct 9;51(1):89-99.

Yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase is homologous to those encoded by bacteriophages T3 and T7.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicing, California 94305-5324.


Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of the genetic locus for yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase (RPO41) reveals a continuous open reading frame with the coding potential for a polypeptide of 1351 amino acids, a size consistent with the electrophoretic mobility of this enzymatic activity. The transcription product from this gene spans the singular reading frame. In vivo transcript abundance reflects codon usage and growth under stringent conditions for mitochondrial biogenesis and function results in a several fold higher level of gene expression than growth under glucose repression. A comparison of the yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase amino acid sequence to those of E. coli RNA polymerase subunits failed to demonstrate any regions of homology. Interestingly, the mitochondrial enzyme is highly homologous to the DNA-directed RNA polymerases of bacteriophages T3 and T7, especially in regions most highly conserved between the T3 and T7 enzymes themselves.

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