The C-terminal domain of pol II and a DRB-sensitive kinase are required for 3' processing of U2 snRNA.
Medlin JE., Uguen P., Taylor A., Bentley DL., Murphy S.
The human snRNA genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II (e.g. U1 and U2) have a characteristic TATA-less promoter containing an essential proximal sequence element. Formation of the 3' end of these non-polyadenylated RNAs requires a specialized 3' box element whose function is promoter specific. Here we show that truncation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II and treatment of cells with CTD kinase inhibitors, including DRB (5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole), causes a dramatic reduction in proper 3' end formation of U2 transcripts. Activation of 3' box recognition by the phosphorylated CTD would be consistent with the role of phospho-CTD in mRNA processing. CTD kinase inhibitors, however, have little effect on initiation or elongation of transcription of the U2 genes, whereas elongation of transcription of the beta-actin gene is severely affected. This result highlights differences in transcription of snRNA and mRNA genes.