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Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Jan;16(1):115-20.

SSN genes that affect transcriptional repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae encode SIN4, ROX3, and SRB proteins associated with RNA polymerase II.

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Department of Genetics, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.


The RNA polymerase II of Saccharomyces cerevisiae exists in holoenzyme forms containing a complex, known as the mediator, associated with the carboxyl-terminal domain. The mediator includes several SRB proteins and is required for transcriptional activation. Previous work showed that a cyclin-dependent kinase-cyclin pair encoded by SSN3 and SSN8, two members of the SSN suppressor family, are identical to two SRB proteins in the mediator. Here we have identified the remaining SSN genes by cloning and genetic analysis. SSN2 and SSN5 are identical to SRB9 and SRB8, respectively, which encode additional components of the mediator. Genetic evidence implicates the SSN genes in transcriptional repression. Thus, these identities provide genetic insight into mediator and carboxyl-terminal domain function, strongly suggesting a role in mediating transcriptional repression as well as activation. We also show that SSN4 and SSN7 are the same as SIN4 and ROX3, respectively, raising the possibility that these genes also encode mediator proteins.

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