RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain required for enhancer-driven transcription

Hans Peter Gerber, Michael Hagmann, Katja Seipel, Oleg Georgiev, Marilyn A.L. West, Ying Litingtung, Walter Schaffner, Jeffry L. Corden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


The RNA polymerase II carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) consists of tandem repeats of the sequence Tyr-Ser-Pro-Thr-Ser-Pro-Ser1-3. The CTD may participate in activated transcription through interaction with a high-molecular-weight mediator complex4-6. Such a role would be consistent with observations that some genes are preferentially sensitive to CTD mutations7,8. Here we investigate the function of the mouse RNA polymerase CTD in enhancer-driven transcription. Transcription by α-amanitin-resistant CTD-deletion mutants was tested by transient transfection of tissue culture cells in the presence of α-amanitin in order to inhibit endogenous RNA polymerase II. Removal of most of the CTD abolishes transcriptional activation by all enhancers tested, whereas transcription from promoters driven by Spl, a factor that typically activates housekeeping genes from positions proximal to the initiation sites, is not affected. These findings show that the CTD is essential in mediating 'enhancer'-type activation of mammalian transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-662
Number of pages3
Issue number6523
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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