Molecular cloning of an essential subunit of RNA polymerase II elongation factor SIII

Karla Pfeil Garrett, Siyuan Tan, John N. Bradsher, William S. Lane, Joan Weliky Conaway, Ronald C. Conaway

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A transcription factor designated SIII was recently purified from mammalian cells and shown to regulate the activity of the RNA polymerase II elongation complex. SIII is a heterotrimer composed of ≃110-, 18-, and 15- kDa polypeptides and is capable of increasing the overall rate of RNA chain elongation by RNA polymerase II by suppressing transient pausing of polymerase at multiple sites on the DNA template. Here we describe the molecular cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding the functional 15- kDa subunit (p15) of SIII. The p15 cDNA encodes a 112-amino-acid polypeptide with a calculated molecular mass of 12,473 Da and an electrophoretic mobility indistinguishable from that of the natural p15 subunit. When combined with the 110- and 18-kDa SIII subunits, bacterially expressed p15 efficiently replaces the natural p15 subunit in reconstitution of transcriptionally active SIII. A homology search revealed that the amino-terminal half of the SIII p15 subunit shares significant sequence similarity with a portion of the RNA-binding domain of Escherichia coli transcription termination protein ρ and with the E. coli NusB protein, suggesting that SIII may be evolutionarily related to proteins involved in the control of transcription elongation in eubacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5237-5241
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 7 1994
Externally publishedYes

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