Biogenesis of multisubunit RNA polymerases

Trends Biochem Sci. 2012 Mar;37(3):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2011.12.001. Epub 2012 Jan 17.


Gene transcription in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells is carried out by three related multisubunit RNA polymerases, Pol I, Pol II and Pol III. Although the structure and function of the polymerases have been studied extensively, little is known about their biogenesis and their transport from the cytoplasm (where the subunits are synthesized) to the nucleus. Recent studies have revealed polymerase assembly intermediates and putative assembly factors, as well as factors required for Pol II nuclear import. In this review, we integrate the available data into a model of Pol II biogenesis that provides a framework for future analysis of the biogenesis of all RNA polymerases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase I / biosynthesis
  • DNA Polymerase II / biosynthesis*
  • DNA Polymerase II / chemistry
  • DNA Polymerase III / biosynthesis
  • Eukaryotic Cells*
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Subunits / chemistry
  • Protein Subunits / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Yeasts / chemistry
  • Yeasts / genetics


  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Subunits
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Polymerase III