BACKGROUND: Transcriptional initiation and elongation provide control points in gene expression. Eukaryotic RNA polymerase II subunit 9 (RPB9) regulates start-site selection and elongational arrest. RPB9 contains Cys4 Zn(2+)-binding motifs which are conserved in archaea and homologous to those of the general transcription factors TFIIB and TFIIS. RESULTS: The structure of an RPB9 domain from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus celer was determined at high resolution by NMR spectroscopy. The structure consists of an apical tetrahedral Zn(2+)-binding site, central beta sheet and disordered loop. Although the structure lacks a globular hydrophobic core, the two surfaces of the beta sheet each contain well ordered aromatic rings engaged in serial edge-to-face interactions. Basic sidechains are clustered near the Zn(2+)-binding site. The disordered loop contains sidechains conserved in TFIIS, including acidic residues essential for the stimulation of transcriptional elongation. CONCLUSIONS: The planar architecture of the RPB9 zinc ribbon-distinct from that of a conventional globular domain-can accommodate significant differences in the alignment of polar, non-polar and charged sidechains. Such divergence is associated with local and non-local changes in structure. The RPB9 structure is distinguished by a fourth beta strand (extending the central beta sheet) in a well ordered N-terminal segment and also differs from TFIIS (but not TFIIB) in the orientation of its apical Zn(2+)-binding site. Cys4 Zn(2+)-binding sites with distinct patterns of polar, non-polar and charged residues are conserved among unrelated RNAP subunits and predicted to form variant zinc ribbons.
High-resolution structure of an archaeal zinc ribbon defines a general architectural motif in eukaryotic RNA polymerases.,Wang B, Jones DN, Kaine BP, Weiss MA Structure. 1998 May 15;6(5):555-69. PMID:9634694
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
↑ Wang B, Jones DN, Kaine BP, Weiss MA. High-resolution structure of an archaeal zinc ribbon defines a general architectural motif in eukaryotic RNA polymerases. Structure. 1998 May 15;6(5):555-69. PMID:9634694