Protein phosphatase-1 dephosphorylates the C-terminal domain of RNa polymerase-II

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Transcription by RNA polymerase-II (RNAPII) is controlled by multisite phosphorylation of the heptapeptide repeats in the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit. Phosphorylation of CTD is mediated by the cyclin-dependent protein kinases Cdk7 and Cdk9, whereas protein serine/threonine phosphatase FCP1 dephosphorylates CTD. We have recently reported that human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) transcription is positively regulated by protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) and that PP1 dephosphorylates recombinant CTD. Here, we provide further evidence that PP1 can dephosphorylate RNAPII CTD. In vitro, PP1 dephosphorylated recombinant CTD as well as purified RNAPII CTD. HeLa nuclear extracts were found to contain a species of PP1 that dephosphorylates both serine 2 and serine 5 of the heptapeptide repeats. In nuclear extracts, PP1 and FCP1 contributed roughly equally to the dephosphorylation of serine 2. PP1 co-purified with RNAPII by gel filtration and associated with RNAPII on immunoaffinity columns prepared with anti-CTD antibodies. In cultured cells treated with CTD kinase inhibitors, the dephosphorylation of RNAPII on serine 2 was inhibited by 45% by preincubation with okadaic acid, which inhibits phosphatases of PPP family, including PP1 but not FCP1. Our data demonstrate that RNAPII CTD is dephosphorylated by PP1 in vitro and by PPP-type phosphatase, distinct from FCP1, in vivo.

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