New insights into the biogenesis of nuclear RNA polymerases?

Biochem Cell Biol. 2010 Apr;88(2):211-21. doi: 10.1139/o09-173.


More than 30 years of research on nuclear RNA polymerases (RNAP I, II, and III) has uncovered numerous factors that regulate the activity of these enzymes during the transcription reaction. However, very little is known about the machinery that regulates the fate of RNAPs before or after transcription. In particular, the mechanisms of biogenesis of the 3 nuclear RNAPs, which comprise both common and specific subunits, remains mostly uncharacterized and the proteins involved are yet to be discovered. Using protein affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry (AP-MS), we recently unraveled a high-density interaction network formed by nuclear RNAP subunits from the soluble fraction of human cell extracts. Validation of the dataset using a machine learning approach trained to minimize the rate of false positives and false negatives yielded a high-confidence dataset and uncovered novel interactors that regulate the RNAP II transcription machinery, including a set of proteins we named the RNAP II-associated proteins (RPAPs). One of the RPAPs, RPAP3, is part of an 11-subunit complex we termed the RPAP3/R2TP/prefoldin-like complex. Here, we review the literature on the subunits of this complex, which points to a role in nuclear RNAP biogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / enzymology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / chemistry
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / genetics
  • Humans


  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases