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J Biol Chem. 1996 Oct 25;271(43):27176-83.

Control of RNA polymerase II elongation potential by a novel carboxyl-terminal domain kinase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.

Abstract

The entry of RNA polymerase II into a productive mode of elongation is controlled, in part, by the postinitiation activity of positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) (Marshall, N. F., and Price, D. H. (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270, 12335-12338). We report here that removal of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of the large subunit of RNA polymerase II abolishes productive elongation. Correspondingly, we found that P-TEFb can phosphorylate the CTD of pure RNA polymerase II. Furthermore, P-TEFb can phosphorylate the CTD of RNA polymerase II when the polymerase is in an early elongation complex. Both the function and kinase activity of P-TEFb are blocked by the drugs 5, 6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB) and H-8. P-TEFb is distinct from transcription factor IIH (TFIIH) because the two factors have no subunits in common, P-TEFb is more sensitive to DRB than is TFIIH, and most importantly, TFIIH cannot substitute functionally for P-TEFb. We propose that phosphorylation of the CTD by P-TEFb controls the transition from abortive into productive elongation mode.

PMID:
8900211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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