Talk:RNA polymerase

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for RNA polymerase:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
    1. Add more references. (WP:FOOTNOTE)
    2. Too short and incomplete for such a well-studied subject.
    3. Mention error rate or processivity factors.
    4. Describe the polymerization reaction.
    5. Make the 'isolation' section bigger and rename to 'purification'.
    6. More than single-sentence explanations for the distinctions between polymerases in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes (there's nothing on how these distinctions are maintained or regulated, for example.)
    7. What is the energy source that drives elongation?

    just...[edit]

    I'm sorry if I'm only complicating this more, but I would add the the rna polymerase moves from 3' prime to 5' prime. Then again, maybe not. :b I just skimmed through the page so I might have skipped it if it was included.

    This is valid. I believe it moves from 3' to 5' template of the DNA antisense and synthesizes 5' to 3'. The introduction should be a little clearer on this. LostLucidity (talk) 16:31, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

    Not too technical[edit]

    I disagree with the idea that this article is too technical. It really isn't any more or less dense than the related articles on gene expression or molecular biology. I'm leaving the technical notice here on the talk page for now, but am removing the cleanup notice from the article. The edits since October 2005 seem to justify removing the cleanup notice. -DrNixon 23:30, 26 March 2006 (UTC)


    Is the section on purification of RNAP necessary? The list is poorly referenced, incomplete, and mainly of interest to the very small number of specialists who might purify RNAP in their research.

    Misleading?[edit]

    I think the very first sentence of this article is somewhat misleading. Firstly, RNA polymerase is not found in all cells! It may also be better to say that RNA polymerases are a family (is there a better word than family for what I'm trying to convey?) of enzymes which synthesise RNA, because the term 'RNA polymerase' on its own is used to mean the prokaryotic RNA polymerase enzyme, and this could cause confusion.

    I can't think of the right phrasing to use to make this article both correct and clear at the same time, which is why I'm not going to edit yet. Textbook ref: Mattews, Van Holde and Ahern, "Biochemistry (3rd Ed.)"

    Curiousdaughter 14:35, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


    Good point. The notion of family is quite correct. As an overview article about polymerases it should make that clear. In addition, the viral RNA dependent RNA polymerases encompass an own family and this should be made clear. CharonZ 15:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

    C-terminal domain info[edit]

    There was some info on the C-terminal domain of RNA pol.II in a separate article. I've merged it here before I realized that there actually is a separate article for RNA polymerase II. Should it be moved of there? - tameeria 02:57, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

    Questions from a non-microbiologist : Biophysics of transcription[edit]

    This article is very thin on apparently important details. Though I realize the whole field is still very new and much probably still is not known.

    1. What is the energy source that drives transcription?

    • Is RNAP capable of using Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or related energy storage as a direct mechanical driving power source, or is transcription somehow driven along by random atomic collisions / brownian motion?
      • (Brownian motion seems possible as a driver for enzyme and protein activity if some sort of molecular cyclical ratcheting action were possible, to capture and store the energy from collisions.)

    2. Apparently loose nucleotide letters must be fairly evenly dispersed in the vicinity of RNAP for transcription to be possible. The process of transcription apparently halts, if the appropriate nucleotide letter needed isn't available to form the RNA chain.

    • Is it known what regulates the amount of letters available for transcription in the vicinity of RNAP?
      • (It sounds impossible for cellular processes to "know" how many letters are available since these are just loose molecules randomly bouncing around via Brownian motion.)
        • Letter availability regulation could be a protein that is deactivated by the presence of two or more of the letters it produces in its vicinity. If there are enough of that letter in solution, then the protein is continuously inhibited, and production stops.
    • Can letters be converted from one type to another if there is a deficiency?
    • Does the nucleus play any role here, such as maintaining a higher density of loose nucleotide letters inside itself, so that transcription is more efficient within the nucleus near the DNA?

    3. Speaking in a purely theoretical sense, if a DNA strand could be an endless loop, would the transcription occur forever? This would be a loop with a single activation zone, so that RNAP can attach and then would loop repeatedly.

    • It seems possible that such an event is already excluded through some form of error checking. Such a condition would lead to the cell filling with an RNA strand of unlimited length, plus the endless loop consuming all transcription and energy resources, and taking the affected RNAP permanently out of action for production of useful strands.

    DMahalko (talk) 13:14, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

    Dear DMahalko,
    Especially your question no. 1 is important. I would say it should definitely be addressed in the main article.
    As far as I know, nucleotides are provided in the form of triphosphate nucleosides, e.g. ATP, GTP, CTP, UTP/TTP during transcription.
    During each elongation step by one nucleotide, the corresponding triphosphate nucleoside becomes hydrolysed, which provides 20-25 kT of energy. While, ATP is well known as the universal energy currency inside cells, GTP, CTP, UTP/TTP serve as energy source in special reactions (such as microtubule elongation, glyocogen synthesis, etc.).
    However, an expert should review this information before we put it into the article. Benjamin.friedrich (talk) 14:05, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

    RNA Polymerase/Helicase Confusion[edit]

    The page states, "In contrast to DNA polymerase, RNAP includes helicase activity, therefore no separate enzyme is needed to unwind DNA." Yet on the Wikipedia page for Transcription it says the first step is "1.Helicase unwinds/"unzips" the DNA by breaking the hydrogen bonds between complementary nucleotides".

    Which is it--does helicase unwind the molecule or RNA polymerase? Or is there some confusion of the terms that would resolve this issue? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.51.196.146 (talkcontribs) 10:05, November 28, 2011‎