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

Control of RNA polymerase II elongation potential by a novel carboxyl-terminal domain kinase.

The entry of RNA polymerase II into a productive mode of elongation is controlled, in part, by the postinitiation activity of positive transcription elongation factor b ( P-TEFb) (Marshall, N. F., and Price, D. H. (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270, 12335-12338). We report here that removal of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of the large subunit of RNA polymerase II abolishes productive elongation. Correspondingly, we found that P-TEFb can phosphorylate the CTD of pure RNA polymerase II. Furthermore, P-TEFb can phosphorylate the CTD of RNA polymerase II when the polymerase is in an early elongation complex. Both the function and kinase activity of P-TEFb are blocked by the drugs 5, 6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB) and H-8. P-TEFb is distinct from transcription factor IIH ( TFIIH) because the two factors have no subunits in common, P-TEFb is more sensitive to DRB than is TFIIH, and most importantly, TFIIH cannot substitute functionally for P-TEFb. We propose that phosphorylation of the CTD by P-TEFb controls the transition from abortive into productive elongation mode.[1]


  1. Control of RNA polymerase II elongation potential by a novel carboxyl-terminal domain kinase. Marshall, N.F., Peng, J., Xie, Z., Price, D.H. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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