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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A human RNA polymerase II subunit is encoded by a recently generated multigene family.

BACKGROUND: The sequences encoding the yeast RNA polymerase II (RPB) subunits are single copy genes. RESULTS: While those characterized so far for the human (h) RPB are also unique, we show that hRPB subunit 11 ( hRPB11) is encoded by a multigene family, mapping on chromosome 7 at loci p12, q11.23 and q22. We focused on two members of this family, hRPB11a and hRPB11b: the first encodes subunit hRPB11a, which represents the major RPB11 component of the mammalian RPB complex; the second generates polypeptides hRPB11balpha and hRPB11bbeta through differential splicing of its transcript and shares homologies with components of the hPMS2L multigene family related to genes involved in mismatch-repair functions (MMR). Both hRPB11a and b genes are transcribed in all human tissues tested. Using an inter-species complementation assay, we show that only hRPB11balpha is functional in yeast. In marked contrast, we found that the unique murine homolog of RPB11 gene maps on chromosome 5 (band G), and encodes a single polypeptide which is identical to subunit hRPB11a. CONCLUSIONS: The type hRPB11b gene appears to result from recent genomic recombination events in the evolution of primates, involving sequence elements related to the MMR apparatus.[1]


  1. A human RNA polymerase II subunit is encoded by a recently generated multigene family. Grandemange, S., Schaller, S., Yamano, S., Du Manoir, S., Shpakovski, G.V., Mattei, M.G., Kedinger, C., Vigneron, M. BMC Mol. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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