We have shown previously that UV radiation and other DNA-damaging agents induce the ubiquitination of a portion of the RNA polymerase II large subunit (Pol II LS). In the present study UV irradiation of repaircompetent fibroblasts induced a transient reduction of the Pol II LS level; new protein synthesis restored Pol II LS to the base-line level within 16-24 h. In repair-deficient xeroderma pigmentosum cells, UV radiation-induced ubiquitination of Pol II LS was followed by a sustained reduction of Pol II LS level. In both normal and xeroderma pigmentosum cells, the ubiquitinated Pol II LS had a hyperphosphorylated COOH-terminal domain (CTD), which is characteristic of elongating Pol II. The portion of Pol II LS whose steady- state level diminished most quickly had a relatively hypophosphorylated CTD. The ubiquitinated residues did not map to the CTD. Importantly, UV-induced reduction of Pol II LS level in repair-competent or -deficient cells was inhibited by the proteasome inhibitors lactacystin or MG132. These data demonstrate that UV-induced ubiquitination of Pol H LS is followed by its degradation in the proteasome. These results suggest, contrary to a current model of transcription-coupled DNA repair, that elongating Pol II complexes which arrest at intragenic DNA lesions may be aborted rather than resuming elongation after repair takes place.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology