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EMBO J. 1990 Nov;9(11):3713-21.

Regulation of RNA polymerase III transcription in response to Simian virus 40 transformation.

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Laboratory of Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK.


Transcription by RNA polymerase III of the B2 family of middle-repetitive elements is activated in response to transformation by a variety of agents, including DNA tumour viruses, RNA tumour viruses and chemical carcinogens. We have investigated the mechanism of activation in SV40-transformed cells and we find that the effect is due to an increase in the activity of the general class III transcription factor TFIIIC, achieved both by an increase in factor abundance and by a change in its phosphorylation state. SV40 transformation also stimulates transcription of other genes by RNA polymerase III but the effect may be balanced by compensatory post-transcriptional changes. TFIIIC may mediate the stimulation of polymerase III transcription by a range of transforming viruses.

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