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J Biol Chem. 1998 Feb 20;273(8):4689-94.

Growth-related changes in phosphorylation of yeast RNA polymerase II.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


The largest subunit of RNA polymerase II contains a unique C-terminal domain (CTD) consisting of tandem repeats of the consensus heptapeptide sequence Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7. Two forms of the largest subunit can be separated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The faster migrating form termed IIA contains little or no phosphate on the CTD, whereas the slower migrating II0 form is multiply phosphorylated. CTD kinases with different phosphoryl acceptor specificities are able to convert IIA to II0 in vitro, and different phosphoisomers have been identified in vivo. In this paper we report the binding specificities of a set of monoclonal antibodies that recognize different phosphoepitopes on the CTD. Monoclonal antibodies like H5 recognize phosphoserine in position 2, whereas monoclonal antibodies like H14 recognize phosphoserine in position 5. The relative abundance of these phosphoepitopes changes when growing yeast enter stationary phase or are heat-shocked. These results indicate that phosphorylation of different CTD phosphoacceptor sites are independently regulated in response to environmental signals.

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