Elongin (SIII): a multisubunit regulator of elongation by RNA polymerase II.
The Elongin (SIII) complex activates elongation by mammalian RNA polymerase II by suppressing transient pausing of the polymerase at many sites within transcription units. Elongin is a heterotrimer composed of A, B, and C subunits of 110, 18, and 15 kilodaltons, respectively. Here, the mammalian Elongin A gene was isolated and expressed, and the Elongin (SIII) complex reconstituted with recombinant subunits. Elongin A is shown to function as the transcriptionally active component of Elongin (SIII) and Elongin B and C as regulatory subunits. Whereas Elongin C assembles with Elongin A to form an AC complex with increased specific activity, Elongin B, a member of the ubiquitin-homology gene family, appears to serve a chaperone-like function, facilitating assembly and enhancing stability of the Elongin (SIII) complex.