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Friday, 09 October, 2009

Under starter’s orders

How RNA polymerase II gets the go-ahead for gene transcription

All cells perform certain basic functions. Each must selectively transcribe parts of the DNA that makes up its genome into RNAs that specify the structure of proteins. The set of proteins synthesized by a cell in turn determines its structure and behaviour, and enables it to survive and reproduce. So it is crucial that the appropriate stretches of DNA are transcribed in each cell type. In today’s issue of the journal Nature, a team of researchers at LMU’s Gene Center, led by Professor Patrick Cramer, provides the first detailed description of how the RNA polymerase II initiates gene transcription. “The findings led us to propose a model of the whole complicated process of transcription initiation,” says Cramer. “This operation is of crucial importance in all organisms, because it determines which genes are expressed, and when. Our work thus represents a milestone in the quest to understand gene regulation.” (...)

 

Press information LMU (english)
Presseinformation der LMU (deutsch)
Publication: "RNA polymerase II–TFIIB structure and mechanism of transcription initiation"