The pol II CTD: new twists in the tail

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2016 Sep 6;23(9):771-7. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.3285.


The C-terminal domain (CTD) of the large subunit of RNA polymerase (pol) II comprises conserved heptad repeats, and post-translational modification of the CTD regulates transcription and cotranscriptional RNA processing. Recently, the spatial patterns of modification of the CTD repeats have been investigated, and new functions of CTD modification have been revealed. In addition, there are new insights into the roles of the enzymes that decorate the CTD. We review these new findings and reassess the role of the pol II CTD in the regulation of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Consensus Sequence
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9 / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase II / chemistry*
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Domains*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein Subunits / chemistry
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Protein Subunits
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9
  • DNA Polymerase II