Co-transcriptional capping of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcripts by capping enzyme proceeds orders of magnitude more efficiently than capping of free RNA. Previous studies brought to light a role for the phosphorylated Pol II carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) in activation of co-transcriptional capping; however, CTD phosphorylation alone could not account for the observed magnitude of activation. Here, we exploit a defined Pol II transcription system that supports both CTD phosphorylation and robust activation of capping to dissect the mechanism of co-transcriptional capping. Taken together, our findings identify a CTD-independent, but Pol II-mediated, mechanism that functions in parallel with CTD-dependent processes to ensure optimal capping, and they support a “tethering” model for the mechanism of activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)