Structural Basis of Initial RNA Polymerase II TranscriptionCheung, A.C.M., Sainsbury, S., Cramer, P.
(2011) Embo J. 30: 4755
- PubMed: 22056778
- DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2011.396
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:  4A3B, 4A3D, 4A3E, 4A3F, 4A3G, 4A3I, 4A3J, 4A3K, 4A3L, 4A3M
- PubMed Abstract:
During transcription initiation by RNA polymerase (Pol) II, a transient open promoter complex (OC) is converted to an initially transcribing complex (ITC) containing short RNAs, and to a stable elongation complex (EC). We report structures of a Pol I ...
During transcription initiation by RNA polymerase (Pol) II, a transient open promoter complex (OC) is converted to an initially transcribing complex (ITC) containing short RNAs, and to a stable elongation complex (EC). We report structures of a Pol II-DNA complex mimicking part of the OC, and of complexes representing minimal ITCs with 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 nucleotide (nt) RNAs, with and without a non-hydrolyzable nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) in the insertion site +1. The partial OC structure reveals that Pol II positions the melted template strand opposite the active site. The ITC-mimicking structures show that two invariant lysine residues anchor the 3'-proximal phosphate of short RNAs. Short DNA-RNA hybrids adopt a tilted conformation that excludes the +1 template nt from the active site. NTP binding induces complete DNA translocation and the standard hybrid conformation. Conserved NTP contacts indicate a universal mechanism of NTP selection. The essential residue Q1078 in the closed trigger loop binds the NTP 2'-OH group, explaining how the trigger loop couples catalysis to NTP selection, suppressing dNTP binding and DNA synthesis.
Gene Center and Department of Biochemistry, Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.