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ATP-Mediated Activation of RNA Polymerase II Transcription Complexes

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Transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II is a complex, multistep process that minimally involves transcription complex assembly, open complex formation, and promoter clearance. Hydrolysis of the β–γ phosphoanhydride bond of ATP has previously been shown to be required for open complex formation, as well as for the phosphorylation of the carboxy-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. The observation that ATP-dependent activation of transcription complexes can be blocked by ATP analogues that contain nonhydrolyzable β–γ phosphoanhydride bonds (such as ATPγS) was exploited to develop a functional kinetic assay for ATP-activated transcription complexes. Activated complexes on the promoter present in the long terminal repeat of the proviral DNA of mouse mammary tumor virus were defined as those that could productively initiate transcription in the presence of excess ATPγS. Activation is dependent on treatment of assembled preinitiation complexes with ATP (or dATP) prior to addition of ATPγS, At least 15–35% of the total number of preinitiation complexes present become activated within 2 min in the presence of (d)ATP, and activation appears to be rapidly reversible. The time course of formation of activated complexes in the presence of dATP is characterized by two kinetic phases: a rapid formation followed by a relatively slow decay. Activated complexes were estimated to form with a half-time of less than 1 min.
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Keywords: ATP-mediated activation; Mouse mammary tumor virus; Open transcription complexes; RNA polymerase II; Transcription initiation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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