Plant RNA Polymerases: Structures, Regulation, and Genes

  • Tom J. Guilfoyle
  • Margaret A. Dietrich
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 41)


Plants, like other eukaryotes, have three distinct classes of nuclear DNA-dependent RNA polymerases (9,10,21,26). In addition, they possess RNA polymerases unique to the chloroplast and mitochondrial organelles. Within the nucleus, genomic DNA is transcribed by RNA polymerases I (or A), II (or B), and III (or C), and each class of enzyme carries out a unique transcriptional role. RNA polymerase I is localized in the nucleolus and transcribes ribosomal DNA (rDNA) cistrons into precursor ribosomal RNA (rRNA) containing species of 25S, 18S, and 5.8S rRNAs. RNA polymerase II is localized in the nucleoplasm and produces precursors to mRNAs and some small nuclear RNAs. RNA polymerase III is also localized in the nucleoplasm and transcribes 5S rRNA, tRNA, and some small nuclear RNA genes. While RNA polymerases II and III are localized in the nucleoplasm in situ, both enzymes are subject to extensive leaching from nuclei during cell disruption and are largely recovered in the cytoplasm fraction of cell extracts (9,10).


Large Subunit Subunit Structure Common Subunit Ribonucleic Acid Polymerase Common Polypeptide 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom J. Guilfoyle
    • 1
  • Margaret A. Dietrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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