Terminator-specific recycling of a B1-Alu transcription complex by RNA polymerase III is mediated by the RNA terminus-binding protein La

John L. Goodier, Richard J. Maraia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Efficient synthesis of many small abundant RNAs is achieved by the proficient recycling of RNA polymerase (pol) III and stable transcription complexes. Cellular Alu and related retroposons represent unusual pol III genes that are normally repressed but are activated by viral infection and other conditions. The core sequences of these elements contain pol III promoters but must rely on fortuitous downstream oligo(dT) tracts for terminator function. We show that a B1-Alu gene differs markedly from a classical pol III gene (tRNA(i)/(Met) in terminator sequence requirements. B1-Alu genes that differ only in terminator sequence context direct differential RNA 3' end formation. These genes are assembled into stable transcription complexes but differ in their ability to be recycled in the presence of the La transcription termination factor. La binds to the nascent RNA 3' UUU(OH) end motif that is generated by transcriptional termination within the pol III termination signal, oligo(dT). We found that the recycling efficiency of the B1-Alu genes is correlated with the ability of La to access the 3' end of the nascent transcript and protect it from 3'-5' exonucleolytic processing. These results illuminate a relationship between RNA 3' end formation and transcription termination, and La-mediated reinitiation by pol III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26110-26116
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume273
Issue number40
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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