Despite their clear T7-bacteriophage origin, mitochondrial RNA polymerases have evolved to require transcription factors. All mitochondrial polymerases contain an extra N-terminal domain that has no counterpart in the self-proficient phage enzyme, which is therefore hypothesized to interact with transcription factors. We studied a series of N-terminal deletion mutants of yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase, Rpo41, and have found that the N-terminal region does not abolish the effects of Mtf1; rather it contributes directly to enzyme catalysis. Mtf1 can rescue the defective Rpo41 enzymes resulted from N-terminal domain deletions. Although Rpo41 appears to have retained all promoter recognition elements found in T7 RNAP, the elements are not independently functional, and Mtf1 is necessary and sufficient for holoenzyme promoter-directed transcription activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)