The recently solved X-ray crystal structures of archaeal RNA polymerase (RNAP) allow a structural comparison of the transcription machinery among all three domains of life. Archaeal transcription is very simple and all components, including the structures of general transcription factors and RNAP, are highly conserved in eukaryotes. Therefore, it could be a new model for the dissection of the eukaryotic transcription apparatus. The archaeal RNAP structure also provides a framework for addressing the functional role that Fe-S clusters play within the transcription machinery of archaea and eukaryotes. A comparison between bacterial and archaeal open complex models reveals likely key motifs of archaeal RNAP for DNA unwinding during the open complex formation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology