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J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 25;280(8):7131-4. Epub 2004 Dec 9.

Structures of complete RNA polymerase II and its subcomplex, Rpb4/7.

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Gene Center, University of Munich (LMU), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Feodor-Lynen-Strasse 25, 81377 Munich, Germany.


We determined the x-ray structure of the RNA polymerase (Pol) II subcomplex Rpb4/7 at 2.3 A resolution, combined it with a previous structure of the 10-subunit polymerase core, and refined an atomic model of the complete 12-subunit Pol II at 3.8-A resolution. Comparison of the complete Pol II structure with structures of the Pol II core and free Rpb4/7 shows that the core-Rpb4/7 interaction goes along with formation of an alpha-helix in the linker region of the largest Pol II subunit and with folding of the conserved Rpb7 tip loop. Details of the core-Rpb4/7 interface explain facilitated Rpb4/7 dissociation in a temperature-sensitive Pol II mutant and specific assembly of Pol I with its Rpb4/7 counterpart, A43/14. The refined atomic model of Pol II serves as the new reference structure for analysis of the transcription mechanism and enables structure solution of complexes of the complete enzyme with additional factors and nucleic acids by molecular replacement.

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