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Friday 26th of November at 11 am: Srinivasan Rengachari, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany - "Regulation of RNA polymerase II initiation by the mediator complex"

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Abstract (...)

RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is conserved across eukaryotes and is solely responsible for the synthesis of messenger RNA (mRNA) in cells. The initiation of Pol II transcription is tightly regulated by a group of general transcription factors and transcriptional co-activators. The mediator complex is a ubiquitous transcriptional co-activator and influences transcription initiation by stimulating the phosphorylation of Pol II by the cyclin-activated kinase(CAK) module of TFIIH. The cryo-EM structure of this two mega-dalton assembly explains how the mediator binds the pre-initiation complex(PIC), stimulates the TFIIH CAK by stabilising it within the PIC. Using biochemical assays in addition to the structure, we propose a model for how the mediator complex could bind the Pol II C-terminal domain and present it to TFIIH CAK for phosphorylation, towards initiating transcription.
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