Kin28p, associated with cyclin Ccl1p, is a putative cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) of the p34cdc2 family in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Search for mutations co-lethal (syn mutations) with a kin28 thermosensitive mutation (kin28-ts3) has uncovered genetic interactions between gene KIN28 and genes RAD3, SIN4, STI1 and CDC37. The genetic interaction between KIN28 and the CDC37 cell division cycle gene suggests that a connection exists between the activity of CDK-Kin28p and cell-cycle progression. Both RAD3 and SIN4 gene products are implicated in the RNA polymerase II transcription process. Here we show that RNA polymerase II transcription is drastically reduced in a kin28-ts mutant, at restrictive temperature. This impairment correlates with a markedly decreased phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (Rpb1p). Thus, the Kin28 gene product is required in vivo for RNA polymerase II phosphorylation and transcriptional activity as recently suggested by experiments using an in vitro reconstituted system.
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