Identification of novel RNA Polymerase II CTD interaction sites on the mRNA Capping Enzyme

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


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 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 surface and quantify their relative contributions to CTD binding. We also identify differences in the CTD binding conformation when phosphorylated at either the Serine-2 or Serine-5 positions, thus providing insights into how the CE reads the CTD code. The computational findings are then validated by binding and activity assays. These novel CTD interaction sites are compared with cocrystal structures of the CE-CTD complex in different eukaryotic taxa, leading to the conclusion that this interface is considerably more conserved than previous structures have indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Number of pages49
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2020

Publication series

PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press


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