RNA polymerase fidelity and transcriptional proofreading

Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol., 2009, 19(6), 732-739, doi:10.1016/j.sbi.2009.10.009 published on 18.12.2008
Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol., online article
Whereas mechanisms underlying the fidelity of DNA polymerases (DNAPs) have been investigated in detail, RNA polymerase (RNAP) fidelity mechanisms remained poorly understood. New functional and structural studies now suggest how RNAPs select the correct nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) substrate to prevent transcription errors, and how the enzymes detect and remove a misincorporated nucleotide during proofreading. Proofreading begins with fraying of the misincorporated nucleotide away from the DNA template, which pauses transcription. Subsequent backtracking of RNAP by one position enables nucleolytic cleavage of an RNA dinucleotide that contains the misincorporated nucleotide. Since cleavage occurs at the same active site that is used for polymerization, the RNAP proofreading mechanism differs from that used by DNAPs, which contain a distinct nuclease specific active site.

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