A human RNA polymerase II subunit is encoded by a recently generated multigene family
The characterization of RNA polymerase subunit genes has revealed that some subunits are shared by the three nuclear enzymes, some are homologous, and some are unique to RNA polymerases I, II, or III. We report here the isolation and characterization of the yeast RNA polymerase II subunit RPB11, which is encoded by a single copy RPB11 gene located directly upstream of the topoisomerase I gene, TOPI, on chromosome XV. The sequence of the gene predicts an RPB11 subunit of 120 amino acids (13,600 daltons), only two amino acids shorter than the RPB9 polypeptide, that co-migrates with RPB11 under most SDS-PAGE conditions, RPB11 was found to be an essential gene that encodes a protein closely related to an essential subunit shared by RNA polymerases I and III, AC19. RPB11 contains a 19 amino acid segment found in three other yeast RNA polymerase subunits and the bacterial RNA polymerase subunit alpha. Some mutations that affect RNA polymerase assembly map within this segment, suggesting that this region may play a role in subunit interactions. As the isolation of RPB11 completes the isolation of known yeast RNA polymerase II subunit genes, we briefly summarize the salient features of these twelve genes and the polypeptides that they encode.