Reference: Paratkar S, et al. (2011) The N-terminal Domain of the Yeast Mitochondrial RNA Polymerase Regulates Multiple Steps of Transcription. J Biol Chem 286(18):16109-20

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Abstract


Transcription of the yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) mitochondrial (mt) genome is catalyzed by nuclear-encoded proteins that include the core RNA polymerase (RNAP) subunit Rpo41 and the transcription factor Mtf1. Rpo41 is homologous to the single-subunit bacteriophage T7/T3 RNAP. Its ~80 kDa C-terminal domain is highly conserved among mt RNAPs, but its ~50 kDa N-terminal domain (NTD) is less conserved and not present in T7/T3 RNAP. To understand the role of the NTD, we have biochemically characterized a series of NTD deletion mutants of Rpo41. Our studies show that NTD regulates multiple steps of transcription initiation. Interestingly, NTD functions in an auto-inhibitory manner during initiation and its partial deletion increases the efficiency of RNA synthesis. Deletion of 1-270 amino acids (DN270) reduces abortive synthesis and increases full-length to abortive RNA ratio relative to full-length (FL) Rpo41. A larger deletion of 1-380 amino acids (DN380), decreases RNA synthesis on duplex but not on pre-melted promoter. We show that DN380 is defective in promoter opening near the transcription start site. Most strikingly, both DN270 and DN380 catalyze highly processive RNA synthesis on the pre-melted promoter, and unlike the FL Rpo41, the mutants are not inhibited by Mtf1. Both mutants show weaker interactions with Mtf1, which explains many of our results, and particularly the ability of the mutants to efficiently transition from initiation to elongation. We propose that in vivo the accessory proteins that bind NTD may modulate interactions of Rpo41 with the promoter/Mtf1 to activate and allow timely release from Mtf1 for transition into elongation.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Paratkar S, Deshpande AP, Tang GQ, Patel SS
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