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Trends Biochem Sci. 2016 Jun;41(6):546-559. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

RNA Polymerase III Advances: Structural and tRNA Functional Views.

Author information

1
Intramural Research Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA; Current address: Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, Partners II, 3700 Raleigh, NC, USA.
2
Intramural Research Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA; Commissioned Corps, US Public Health Service, Rockville, MD, USA. Electronic address: maraiar@mail.nih.gov.

Abstract

RNA synthesis in eukaryotes is divided among three RNA polymerases (RNAPs). RNAP III transcribes hundreds of tRNA genes and fewer additional short RNA genes. We survey recent work on transcription by RNAP III including an atomic structure, mechanisms of action, interactions with chromatin and retroposons, and a conserved link between its activity and a tRNA modification that enhances mRNA decoding. Other new work suggests important mechanistic connections to oxidative stress, autoimmunity and cancer, embryonic stem cell pluripotency, and tissue-specific developmental effects. We consider that, for some of its complex functions, variation in RNAP III activity levels lead to nonuniform changes in tRNAs that can shift the translation profiles of key codon-biased mRNAs with resultant phenotypes or disease states.

PMID:
27068803
PMCID:
PMC4884153
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibs.2016.03.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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