The mechanism of transcription termination by RNA polymerase I

Mol Microbiol. 1994 Apr;12(1):11-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1994.tb00989.x.


Eukaryotic ribosomal gene transcription units are bordered at their 3' ends by short DNA sequences which specify site-specific termination by RNA polymerase I (polI). PolI terminators from yeast through to mammals appear to follow similar rules: they contain a site for a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein; they function only in one orientation; 3' ends are formed upstream of the binding site; and 5' flanking sequences influence the position and efficiency of 3' end formation. Recent progress in understanding the mechanism of RNA chain elongation by other polymerases suggests a model for polI termination in which termination is seen as one of the several outcomes possible when a polymerase encounters a pause site.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura / genetics
  • Anura / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice / genetics
  • Mice / metabolism
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA Polymerase I / metabolism*
  • RNA, Fungal / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Terminator Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA Polymerase I