3'-End processing of pre-mRNAs prior to packaging and export to the cytoplasm of the mature transcript is a highly regulated process executed by several tens of protein factors that recognize poorly conserved RNA signals. Among them is Pcf11, a highly conserved, multidomain protein that links transcriptional elongation, 3'-end processing, and transcription termination. Here we report the structure and biochemical function of Pcf11's C-terminal domain, which is conserved from yeast to humans. We identify a novel zinc-finger fold, resembling a trillium flower. Structural, biochemical, and genetic analyses reveal a highly conserved surface that plays a critical role in both cleavage and polyadenylation. These findings provide further insight into this important protein and its multiple functional roles during cotranscriptional RNA processing.
Keywords: NMR; Pcf11; mRNA 3′-end processing; structure; zinc finger.
© 2016 Yang et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.