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Biochemistry. 2004 Dec 7;43(48):15223-9.

Transcription-dependent polyubiquitination of RNA polymerase II requires lysine 63 of ubiquitin.

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  • 1Center for Cancer Research, Department of Biology, and McGovern Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Lysine-63-linked polyubiquitin chains are not thought to signal protein degradation but instead signal for a variety of cellular processes including some types of DNA repair. RNA polymerase (Pol) II is polyubiquitinated following DNA damage or upon treatment of nuclear extracts with the transcription inhibitor alpha-amanitin. Here, we report, using a reaction in vitro, that transcription-dependent polyubiquitination of RNA Pol II consists of lysine-63-linked chains. This modification is specific for RNA Pol II engaged in active transcription and arrested by alpha-amanitin.

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