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Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Jul;16(7):3361-9.

Identification of a binding site in c-Ab1 tyrosine kinase for the C-terminal repeated domain of RNA polymerase II.

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  • 1Department of Biology and Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 93093-0347, USA.


The c-abl proto-oncogene encodes a nuclear tyrosine kinase that can phosphorylate the mammalian RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) on its C-terminal repeated domain (CTD) in vitro. Phosphorylation of the CTD has previously been shown to require the tyrosine kinase and the SH2 domain of Abl. We show here that a CTD-interacting domain (CTD-ID) at the C-terminal region of c-Abl is also required. Deletion of the CTD-ID causes the Km 0.4 microM to increase by 2 orders of magnitude. Direct binding of the CTD-ID to CTD and to RNAP II could be demonstrated in vitro. Phosphorylation of a recombinant glutathione S-transferase-CTD by c-Abl was observed in cotransfected COS cells. Mutant Abl proteins lacking the CTD-ID, while capable of autophosphorylation, neither phosphorylated nor associated with the glutathione S-transferase-CTD in vivo. Transient overexpression of c-Abl also led to a four- to fivefold increase in the phosphotyrosine content of the RNAP II large subunit. Moreover, the large subunit of RNAP II could be coprecipitated with c-Abl. Tyrosine phosphorylation of the coprecipitated RNAP II was again dependent on the presence of the CTD-ID in Abl. Finally, the ability of c-Abl to phosphorylate and associate with RNAP II could be correlated with the enhancement of transcription by c-Abl in transient cotransfection assays. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that c-Abl can function as a CTD kinase in vitro as well as in vivo.

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