IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: DNA-directed RNA polymerase

Reaction: nucleoside triphosphate + RNAn = diphosphate + RNAn+1

Other name(s): RNA polymerase; RNA nucleotidyltransferase (DNA-directed); RNA polymerase I; RNA polymerase II; RNA polymerase III; RNA nucleotidyltransferase (DNA-directed); C RNA formation factors; deoxyribonucleic acid-dependent ribonucleic acid polymerase; DNA-dependent ribonucleate nucleotidyltransferase; DNA-dependent RNA nucleotidyltransferase; DNA-dependent RNA polymerase; ribonucleate nucleotidyltransferase; ribonucleate polymerase; C ribonucleic acid formation factors;ribonucleic acid nucleotidyltransferase; ribonucleic acid polymerase; ribonucleic acid transcriptase; ribonucleic polymerase; ribonucleic transcriptase; C RNA formation factors; RNA nucleotidyltransferase; RNA transcriptase; transcriptase; RNA nucleotidyltransferase I

Systematic name: nucleoside-triphosphate:RNA nucleotidyltransferase (DNA-directed)

Comments: Catalyses DNA-template-directed extension of the 3'- end of an RNA strand by one nucleotide at a time. Can initiate a chain de novo. In eukaryotes, three forms of the enzyme have been distinguished on the basis of sensitivity to α-amanitin, and the type of RNA synthesized. See also EC (polynucleotide adenylyltransferase) and EC (RNA-directed RNA polymerase).

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 9014-24-8


1. Krakow, J.S. and Ochoa, S. RNA polymerase from Azotobacter vinelandii. Methods Enzymol. 6 (1963) 11-17.

2. Mans, R.J. and Walter, T.J. Transfer RNA-primed oligoadenylate synthesis in maize seedlings. II. Primer, substrate and metal specificities and size of product. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 247 (1971) 113-121. [PMID: 4946277]

3. Roeder, R.G. in Losick, R. and Chamberlin, M. (Eds.), RNA Polymerase, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1976, p. 285.

4. Sheldon, R., Jurale, C.and Kates, J. Detection of polyadenylic acid sequences in viral and eukaryotic RNA(poly(U)-cellulose columns-poly(U) filters-fiberglass-HeLa cells-bacteriophage T4). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 69 (1972) 417-421. [PMID: 4501121]

5. Weaver, R.F., Blatti, S.P. and Rutter, W.J. Molecular structures of DNA-dependent RNA polymerases (II) from calf thymus and rat liver. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 68 (1971) 2994-2999. [PMID: 5289245]

[EC created 1961, modified 1981, modified 1982, modified 1989]

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