A novel RNA Pol II CTD interaction site on the mRNA Capping Enzyme is essential for its allosteric activation

Marcus G. Bage (Lead / Corresponding author), Rajaei Almohammed, Victoria H. Cowling, Andrei V. Pisliakov (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Recruitment of the mRNA Capping Enzyme (CE/RNGTT) to the site of transcription is essential for the formation of the 5’ mRNA cap, which in turn ensures efficient transcription, splicing, polyadenylation, nuclear export and translation of mRNA in eukaryotic cells. The CE GTase is recruited and activated by the Serine-5 phosphorylated carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II. Through the use of molecular dynamics simulations and enhanced sampling techniques, we provide a systematic and detailed characterisation of the human CE-CTD interface, describing the effect of the CTD phosphorylation state, length and orientation on this interaction. Our computational analyses identify novel CTD interaction sites on the human CE GTase surface and quantify their relative contributions to CTD binding. We also identify, for the first time, allosteric connections between the CE GTase active site and the CTD binding sites, allowing us to propose a mechanism for allosteric activation. Through binding and activity assays we validate the novel CTD binding sites and show that the CDS2 site is essential for CE GTase activity stimulation. Comparison of the novel sites with cocrystal structures of the CE-CTD complex in different eukaryotic taxa reveals that this interface is considerably more conserved than previous structures have indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Early online date3 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2021

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