Transcribing RNA Polymerase II Is Phosphorylated at CTD Residue Serine-7
RNA polymerase II is distinguished by its large carboxyl-terminal repeat domain (CTD), composed of repeats of the consensus heptapeptide Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7. Differential phosphorylation of serine-2 and serine-5 at the 5′ and 3′ regions of genes appears to coordinate the localization of transcription and RNA processing factors to the elongating polymerase complex. Using monoclonal antibodies, we reveal serine-7 phosphorylation on transcribed genes. This position does not appear to be phosphorylated in CTDs of less than 20 consensus repeats. The position of repeats where serine-7 is substituted influenced the appearance of distinct phosphorylated forms, suggesting functional differences between CTD regions. Our results indicate that restriction of serine-7 epitopes to the Linker-proximal region limits CTD phosphorylation patterns and is a requirement for optimal gene expression.