Electron microscopic study of yeast RNA polymerase A: Analysis of single molecular images
A model for the quaternary structure of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase (nucleosidetriphosphate:RNA nucleotidyltransferase, EC 18.104.22.168) is presented. It is based on results from classification of profiles of enzyme molecules, and from application of immuno electron microscopy. Classification of molecules, prepared with the single carbon layer technique, was first achieved for images recorded in dark field with the scanning transmission electron microscope and later on for images recorded in bright-field transmission electron microscopy. It results in five approximately equally sized groups, containing about 80% of the core enzyme profiles. Holoenzyme profiles can be grouped into the same classes, and have approximately the same dimensions (9 nm X 16 nm). Based on the shapes and sizes of the classified profiles, a tentative model for core enzyme has been constructed. Correlation of shadow projections of this model, with the distributions of attachment sites of antibodies against alpha, beta, beta' and sigma over the profiles, has led to models for core and holoenzyme in which the subunits are localized. The model is compared with literature data on the quaternary structure of RNA polymerase.