The CTD Is Not Essential for the Post-Initiation Control of RNA Polymerase II Activity

A. Gerber, Robert G. Roeder

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Interest in the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the RPB1 subunit of the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) has been revived in recent years, owing to its numerous posttranslational modifications and its “phase-separation” properties. A large number of studies have shown that the status of CTD modifications is associated with the activity of Pol II during the transcription cycle. However, because this domain is essential in living cells, the functional requirement of the full CTD for the control of Pol II activity at endogenous mammalian genes has never been addressed directly in living cells. Using an inducible Pol II-degradation system that we previously established, we investigated here the roles of the CTD in the post-initiation control of Pol II. The selective ablation of the RPB1 CTD, post-initiation, at promoter-proximal pause-sites revealed that this domain, and by extension the CTD heptads and their modifications, is functionally neither absolutely required to maintain pausing in the absence of CDK9 activity nor essential for the release of Pol II into productive elongation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5489-5498
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2020


  • C-terminal domain
  • RNA polymerase II
  • auxin degron
  • elongation
  • pause-release

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