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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Mar;23(6):1961-7.

RNA polymerase II accumulation in the promoter-proximal region of the dihydrofolate reductase and gamma-actin genes.

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Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA.


The carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) can be phosphorylated at serine 2 (Ser-2) and serine 5 (Ser-5) of the CTD heptad repeat YSPTSPS, and this phosphorylation is important in coupling transcription to RNA processing, including 5' capping, splicing, and polyadenylation. The mammalian endogenous dihydrofolate reductase and gamma-actin genes have been used to study the association of Pol II with different regions of transcribed genes (promoter-proximal compared to distal regions) and the phosphorylation status of its CTD. For both genes, Pol II is more concentrated in the promoter-proximal regions than in the interior regions. Moreover, different phosphorylation forms of Pol II are associated with distinct regions. Ser-5 phosphorylation of Pol II is concentrated near the promoter, while Ser-2 phosphorylation is observed throughout the gene. These results suggest that the accumulation of paused Pol II in promoter-proximal regions may be a common feature of gene regulation in mammalian cells.

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