Mutational analysis of an RNA polymerase II elongation factor in drosophila melanogaster

Mark A. Gerber, Ali Shilatifard, Joel C. Eissenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The ELL family of proteins function in vitro as elongation factors for RNA polymerase II. Deletion studies have defined domains in mammalian ELL required for transcription elongation activity and RNA polymerase binding in vitro, for transformation of cultured cells when overexpressed, and for leukemogenesis and cell proliferation as part of a leukemic fusion protein. The goal of this study was to identify domains required for chromosome targeting and viability in the unique Drosophila ELL (dELL) protein. Here, we show that an N-terminal domain of dELL is necessary and sufficient for targeting to transcriptionally active puff sites in chromatin, supporting a role for this domain in recruiting dELL to elongating RNA polymerase II. We demonstrate that a central domain of dELL is required for rapid mobilization of ELL during the heat shock response, suggesting a regulatory function for this domain. Unexpectedly, transgenic dELL in which the N-terminal chromosome binding domain is deleted can complement the recessive lethality of mutations in ELL, suggesting that Drosophila ELL has an essential activity in development distinct from its role as an RNA polymerase II elongation factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7803-7811
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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