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Cell. 1991 Jul 12;66(1):121-8.

Three-dimensional structure of yeast RNA polymerase II at 16 A resolution.

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Beckman Laboratories for Structural Biology, Department of Cell Biology, Stanford University, California 94305.


The structure of yeast RNA polymerase II has been determined by three-dimensional reconstruction from electron micrographs of two-dimensional crystals at approximately 16 A resolution. The most prominent feature of the structure is an arm of protein density surrounding a channel about 25 A in diameter, similar to that found previously for E. coli RNA polymerase. The 25 A-diameter channel bifurcates on one face of the protein, connecting with a 25 A-wide groove and with a channel about half as wide. The 25 A channel and groove, and the narrow channel, may bind double- and single-stranded nucleic acids, respectively. A finger of protein density projecting from the molecule adjacent to the arm-like feature may represent the C-terminal domain of the largest subunit. These results provide a structural basis for analyses of the transcription process and its regulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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