A Novel DNA Damage Response Network Associated with the CTD of RNA Polymerase II
Since RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII) transcribes much of the genome, it is well situated to encounter and initiate a response to various types of DNA damage. However, to date very little is known about any response of RNAPII to DNA damage outside of Transcription Coupled Nucleotide Excision Repair (TC-NER). A link between DNA damage response mechanisms and the C-terminal domain of RNAPII (CTD) is suggested by an overlap between proteins that bind the CTD and genes required for resistance to DNA damaging agents. In this thesis, I show that proper deployment of CTD associated proteins is required to respond to DNA damaging agents. Furthermore, I show that a CTD associated protein (Set2) is required for response to DNA damage, but its catalytic activity is not. Finally, I show that the recombinational ability of strains lacking the CTD kinase, Ctk1, is deficient. Based on these lines of evidence, I propose a novel CTD Associated DNA Damage Response (CAR) system of proteins that is required for proper response to DNA damaging agents.
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