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The class III DNA dependent RNA polymerases (nucleoside triphosphate:RNA nucleotidyltransferase EC 220.127.116.11 from HeLa cells have been solubilized and characterized as to function and properties. Two chromatographically distinct forms of enzyme III, designated polymerases IIIA and IIIB, can be resolved when cell extracts are chromatographed on DEAE-Sephadex columns. Enzymes IIIA and IIIB exhibit nearly identical catalytic properties such as divalent cation stimulation, broad biphasic ammonium sulfate optima, and characteristic alpha-amanitin sensitivities which clearly distinguish them from the homologous enzymes, forms I and II. Polymerases IIIA and IIIB are both primarily localized in the nucleus (greater than 60%). The most notable characteristic of the class III enzymes is a unique sensitivity to inhibition by alpha-amanitin (50% inhibition at 15 mug/ml). HeLa cell enzyme I is not inhibited by the mushroom toxin even at very high concentrations (greater than 400 mug/ml), while HeLa cell polymerase II is inhibited by very low concentrations of amanitin (50% inhibition at 0.003 mug/ml). The three major classes of enzyme (I, II, III) exhibit characteristic sensitivities to alpha-amanitin whether assayed in nuclei, crude homogenates, or in a chromatographically purified state. Using a nuclear in vitro RNA synthesizing system to investigate the alpha-amanitin sensitivities of the synthesis of tRNA precursor (4.5S pre-tRNA) and 5S ribosomal RNA, it was found that the synthesis of these RNA species was inhibited 50% at 15 mug/ml of alpha-amanitin. The alpha-amanitin inhibition curves for the synthesis of pre-tRNA-5S ribosomal RNA in nuclei and the alpha-amanitin titration curves for the partially purified class III enzymes (IIIA and IIIB) are identical. These data, therefore, show that the in vivo functional role of the class III RNA polymerases (IIIA-IIIB) is the transcription of the genes coding for transfer RNA and 5S ribosomal RNA.
Intraperitoneal injection of tritiated folic acid (PteGlu) into rats has revealed the presence of three separate protein fractions in the cytosol fraction of the liver and one in the mitochondria which bind folate derivatives. The proteins in the cytosol (cytosol I, II and III) have approximate molecular weights of 350,000, 150,000, and 25,000 and the protein in the mitochondria has an approximate molecular weight of 90,000 as estimated by gel filtration. The bound folate derivatives are primarily polyglutamate forms while cytosol II contains primarily bound 5-methyltetrahydrofolate polyglutamate derivatives. Little binding of radioactively labeled folic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to these fractions was observed when binding was carried out in vitro. Significant binding in vitro was observed, however, when a mixture of biosynthetically labeled natural folate derivatives was used. These proteins have not been purified, but cytosol III partially consists of the enzyme, tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (EC 18.104.22.168). Studies on the time course of folic acid incorporation into the liver showed that soon after injection nonmetabolized folic acid was bound to the plasma membrane fraction of the liver cell. It is suggested that at least one of the binding proteins in the cytosol may be involved in storage of the vitamin while the binding of nonmetabolized folic acid to the plasma membrane may reflect the existence of a carrier for folic acid transport into the cell.
DNA-dependent RNA polymerases were extracted from rat uterine tissue, partially purified and resolved by DEAE-Sephadex chromatography. RNA polymerases I, II, IIIA, and IIIB eluted at the characteristic ammonium sulfate concentrations of 0.15, 0.28, 0.34, and 0.42 M, respectively. The sensitivity of each peak of polymerase to alpha-amanitin was examined and was shown to be essentially identical to the three classes of RNA polymerases in other mammalian systems. RNA polymerase I was insensitive to high levels of alpha-amanitin, RNA polymerase II was sensitive to low concentrations of alpha-amanitin (50% inhibition at 0.006 mug/ml) and RNA polymerases IIIA and IIIB were sensitive to high concentrations of alpha-amanitin (50% inhibition at 18 mug/ml). The alpha-amanitin sensitivity curve of total RNA synthesis measured in isolated nucleo demonstrated that the activity of each class of RNA polymerase could be quantitated in uterine nuclei. Thus the initial decrease in activity at low concentrations of alpha-amanitin (50% inhibition at 0.005 mug/ml) was attributed to the inhibition of RNA polymerase II activity, the second decrease in activity at higher concentrations of alpha-amanitin (50% inhibition at 15 mug/ml) was attributed to the inhibition of RNA polymerase III activity, and the activity which was resistant to the highest alpha-amanitin concentration tested was attributed to RNA polymerase I activity. When estradiol was given to immature rats 6 h before killing both RNA polymerases I and III levels in nuclei were increased significantly over the control values. The time course of these changes demonstrated that the increases in RNA polymerases I and III were first evident between 1.5 and 3 h following hormone treatment. Significantly, these increases in polymerase I and III in nuclei parallel the published increases for rRNA and tRNA synthesis following hormone treatment. However, the amount of RNA polymerase I and III was not altered upon extraction, suggesting that these changes are due to the alteration in chromatin template activity. Both estradiol and estriol produced identical increases in uterine RNA polymerase I and III 6 h after treatment.