Cell cycle regulation and RNA polymerase II

Front Biosci. 2000 Feb 1;5:D244-57. doi: 10.2741/bregman.


The cell cycle and transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) are closely related. They utilize shared components. RNAP II transcriptional activity is modulated during the cell cycle. Cell cycle dependent changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of RNAP II (RNAP II-LS) alter transcription. Several CTD kinases are members of the cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) superfamily, including p34cdc2 (cdk1), cdk7, cdk8, and cdk9. Each of these cdks, with their respective cyclin partners, have been linked to cell cycle regulatory events. Other CTD kinases such as casein kinase II (CKII) and c-abl have also been implicated in cell cycle dependent modifications of the CTD. In addition, the stalling of RNAP II complexes at DNA lesions helps stimulate p53 accumulation which largely determines the cell's DNA damage response, including cell cycle arrest. Alzheimer's disease pathology results partially from activation of mitotic cdks in postmitotic neurons which can phosphorylate RNAP II-LS and other targets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / physiology
  • Casein Kinase II
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / physiology*
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / physiology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase II / physiology*
  • Transcription Factor TFIID
  • Transcription Factors, TFII / metabolism


  • Transcription Factor TFIID
  • Transcription Factors, TFII
  • Protein Kinases
  • carboxy-terminal domain kinase
  • Casein Kinase II
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • carboxy-terminal domain phosphatase