DNA wrapping in transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II

Biochem Cell Biol. 1999;77(4):257-64.


The DNA wrapping model of transcription stipulates that DNA bending and wrapping around RNA polymerase causes an unwinding of the DNA helix at the enzyme catalytic center that stimulates strand separation prior to initiation and during transcript elongation. Recent experiments with mammalian RNA polymerase II indicate the significance of DNA bending and wrapping in transcriptional mechanisms. These findings have important implications in our understanding of the role of the general transcription factors in transcriptional initiation and the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factor TFIID
  • Transcription Factors, TFII / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factor TFIID
  • Transcription Factors, TFII
  • DNA
  • RNA Polymerase II