RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is a large multi-protein complex that functions as a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, catalyzing the transcription of DNA into RNA using the four ribonucleoside triphosphates as substrates. The largest subunit, RNAPII subunit B1 (Rpb1), also known as RNAPII subunit A (POLR2A), contains a unique heptapeptide sequence (Tyr1,Ser2,Pro3,Thr4,Ser5,Pro6,Ser7), which is repeated up to 52 times in the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the protein. This CTD heptapeptide repeat is subject to multiple post-translational modifications, which dictate the functional state of the polymerase complex. Phosphorylation of the CTD during the active transcription cycle integrates transcription with chromatin remodeling and nascent RNA processing by regulating the recruitment of chromatin modifying enzymes and RNA processing proteins to the transcribed gene. During transcription initiation, RNAPII contains a hypophosphorylated CTD and is recruited to gene promoters through interactions with DNA-bound transcription factors and the Mediator complex. The escape of RNAPII from gene promoters requires phosphorylation at Ser5 by CDK7, the catalytic subunit of transcription factor IIH (TFIIH). Phosphorylation at Ser5 mediates the recruitment of RNA capping enzymes, in addition to histone H3 Lys4 methyltransferases, which function to regulate transcription initiation and chromatin structure. After promoter escape, RNAPII proceeds down the gene to an intrinsic pause site, where it is halted by the negative elongation factors NELF and DSIF. At this point, RNAPII is unstable and frequently aborts transcription and dissociates from the gene. Productive transcription elongation requires phosphorylation at Ser2 by CDK9, the catalytic subunit of the positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb. Phosphorylation at Ser2 creates a stable transcription elongation complex and facilitates recruitment of RNA splicing and polyadenylation factors, in addition to histone H3 Lys36 methyltransferases, which function to promote elongation-compatible chromatin. Ser2/Ser5-phosphorylated RNAPII then transcribes the entire length of the gene to the 3 end, where transcription is terminated. RNAPII dissociates from the DNA and is recycled to the hypophosphorylated form by various CTD phosphatases.In addition to Ser2/Ser5 phosphorylation, Ser7 of the CTD heptapeptide repeat is also phosphorylated during the active transcription cycle. Phosphorylation at Ser7 is required for efficient transcription of small nuclear (sn) RNA genes. snRNA genes, which are neither spliced nor poly-adenylated, are structurally different from protein-coding genes. Instead of a poly(A) signal found in protein-coding RNAs, snRNAs contain a conserved 3-box RNA processing element, which is recognized by the Integrator snRNA 3 end processing complex. Phosphorylation at Ser7 by CDK7 during the early stages of transcription facilitates recruitment of RPAP2, which dephosphorylates Ser5, creating a dual Ser2/Ser7 phosphorylation mark that facilitates recruitment of the Integrator complex and efficient processing of nascent snRNA transcripts.
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This gene encodes the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II, the polymerase responsible for synthesizing messenger RNA in eukaryotes. The product of this gene contains a carboxy terminal domain composed of heptapeptide repeats that are essential for polymerase activity. These repeats contain serine and threonine residues that are phosphorylated in actively transcribing RNA polymerase. In addition, this subunit, in combination with several other polymerase subunits, forms the DNA binding domain of the polymerase, a groove in which the DNA template is transcribed into RNA.
DNA-dependent RNA polymerase catalyzes the transcription of DNA into RNA using the four ribonucleoside triphosphates as substrates. Largest and catalytic component of RNA polymerase II which synthesizes mRNA precursors and many functional non-coding RNAs. Forms the polymerase active center together with the second largest subunit. Pol II is the central component of the basal RNA polymerase II transcription machinery. It is composed of mobile elements that move relative to each other. RPB1 is part of the core element with the central large cleft, the clamp element that moves to open and close the cleft and the jaws that are thought to grab the incoming DNA template. At the start of transcription, a single-stranded DNA template strand of the promoter is positioned within the central active site cleft of Pol II. A bridging helix emanates from RPB1 and crosses the cleft near the catalytic site and is thought to promote translocation of Pol II by acting as a ratchet that moves the RNA-DNA hybrid through the active site by switching from straight to bent conformations at each step of nucleotide addition. During transcription elongation, Pol II moves on the template as the transcript elongates. Elongation is influenced by the phosphorylation status of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of Pol II largest subunit (RPB1), which serves as a platform for assembly of factors that regulate transcription initiation, elongation, termination and mRNA processing. Regulation of gene expression levels depends on the balance between methylation and acetylation levels of tha CTD-lysines (By similarity). Initiation or early elongation steps of transcription of growth-factors-induced immediate early genes are regulated by the acetylation status of the CTD