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Mol Cell. 2003 Sep;12(3):699-709.

A minimal RNA polymerase III transcription system from human cells reveals positive and negative regulatory roles for CK2.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA .


In higher eukaryotes, RNA polymerase (pol) III is known to use different transcription factors to recognize three basic types of promoters, but in no case have these transcription factors been completely defined. We show that a highly purified pol III complex combined with the recombinant transcription factors SNAP(c), TBP, Brf2, and Bdp1 directs multiple rounds of transcription initiation and termination from the human U6 promoter. The pol III complex contains traces of CK2, and CK2 associates with the U6 promoter region in vivo. Transcription requires CK2 phosphorylation of the pol III complex. In contrast, CK2 phosphorylation of TBP, Brf2, and Bdp1 combined is inhibitory. The results define a minimum core machinery, the ultimate target of regulatory mechanisms, capable of directing all steps of the transcription process-initiation, elongation, and termination-by a metazoan RNA polymerase, and suggest positive and negative regulatory roles for CK2 in transcription by pol III.

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