Serine-7 of the RNA Polymerase II CTD Is Specifically Required for snRNA Gene Expression
RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcribes genes that encode proteins and noncoding small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). The carboxyl-terminal repeat domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of mammalian RNA Pol II, comprising tandem repeats of the heptapeptide consensus Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7, is required for expression of both gene types. We show that mutation of serine-7 to alanine causes a specific defect in snRNA gene expression. We also present evidence that phosphorylation of serine-7 facilitates interaction with the snRNA gene–specific Integrator complex. These findings assign a biological function to this amino acid and highlight a gene type–specific requirement for a residue within the CTD heptapeptide, supporting the existence of a CTD code.