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Armache, Karim (2005): Crystal structures of the complete 12-subunit RNA polymerase II and its subcomplex Rpb4/7, and modeling of RNA polymerases I and III. Dissertation, LMU München: Fakultät für Chemie und Pharmazie



RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is the central enzyme, that synthetizes all mRNA in eukaryotic cells. In this work, I solved the structure of the complete, initiation-competent 12-subunit yeast RNA polymerase II at 3.8 Å. I also solved the structure of the Pol II subcomplex of Rpb4/7 alone at 2.3 Å resolution. These structures reveal the details of Pol II assembly from 12 subunits and give important insights into the initiation of transcription. The refined, atomic model of the complete 12-subunit Pol II enabled homology modeling of the two other nuclear RNA polymerases. In Pol I and Pol III, 65 % and 77 % of the Pol II fold are conserved, respectively. Together with a recent structure of a Pol II elongation complex, these results show that the basic mechanism of transcription applies also to the two other nuclear RNA polymerases