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1.  Transcription of mammalian mRNAs by a novel nuclear RNA polymerase of mitochondrial origin 
Nature  2005;436(7051):735-739.
It is commonly known that transcription of eukaryotic genes is carried out by three nuclear RNA polymerases of which RNA polymerase II is thought to be solely responsible for the synthesis of mRNAs1. Here we show that transcription of some mRNAs in humans and rodents is mediated by a previously unknown single-polypeptide nuclear RNA polymerase (spRNAP-IV). The spRNAP-IV is expressed from an alternative transcript of the mitochondrial RNA polymerase (mtRNAP) gene (POLRMT). The RNAP IVSP lacks 262 N-terminal amino acids of mtRNAP, including the mitochondrial-targeting signal, and localizes to the nucleus. Transcription by spRNAP-IV is resistant to the RNA-polymease II inhibitor ╬▒-amanitin but sensitive to siRNA specific for the POLRMT gene. The promoters for spRNAP-IV differ substantially from those utilized by RNAP-II, do not respond to transcriptional enhancers, and contain a common functional sequence motif.
PMCID: PMC1352165  PMID: 16079853

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