The largest subunit of RNA polymerase II contains a C-terminal repeated domain (CTD) that is the site of phosphorylation by serine (threonine) and tyrosine kinases. Phosphorylation of the CTD is correlated with transcription elongation. A number of different kinases have previously been shown to phosphorylate the CTD; among them is a nuclear tyrosine kinase encoded by the c-abl proto-oncogene. The processive and high stoichiometric phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II by c-Abl requires the tyrosine kinase, the SH2 domain, and a CTD-interacting domain (CTD-ID) in the Abl protein. The physiological tyrosine phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II by c-Abl in DNA damage response has previously been demonstrated. Basal tyrosine phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II, however, is observed in cells derived from abl-deficient mice, indicating the existence of other CTD tyrosine kinases. In this report, we show that the tyrosine kinase encoded by an Abl-related gene (Arg) also phosphorylates the CTD in vitro and in transfected cells. The SH2 and kinase domain of Arg are 95% identical to that of c-Abl. However, these two proteins share only 29% identity in the large C-terminal region. Interestingly, a CTD- ID is also found in the C-terminal region of Arg. Mapping studies and sequence analysis have led to the identification of the CTD-ID that is highly conserved among the divergent C-terminal regions of Abl and Arg. These results indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II CTD could be catalyzed by either c-Abl or Arg kinase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology