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J Biol Chem. 2000 Mar 3;275(9):6546-52.

Identification and characterization of Elongin A2, a new member of the Elongin family of transcription elongation factors, specifically expressed in the testis.

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Department of Viral Oncology, Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo 170-8455, Japan.


The Elongin complex stimulates the rate of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II by suppressing the transient pausing of the polymerase at many sites along the DNA template. Elongin is composed of a transcriptionally active A subunit and two small regulatory B and C subunits, the latter of which bind stably to each other to form a binary complex that interacts with Elongin A and strongly induces its transcriptional activity. To further understand the roles of Elongin in transcriptional regulation, we attempted to identify Elongin-related proteins. Here, we report on the cloning, expression, and characterization of human Elongin A2, a novel transcription elongation factor that exhibited 47% identity and 61% similarity to Elongin A. Biochemical studies have shown that Elongin A2 stimulates the rate of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II and is capable of forming a stable complex with Elongin BC. However, in contrast to Elongin A, its transcriptional activity is not activated by Elongin BC. Northern blot analysis revealed that Elongin A2 mRNA was specifically expressed in the testis, suggesting that Elongin A2 may regulate the transcription of testis-specific genes.

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