Inhibition of transcription by the trimeric cyclin-dependent kinase 7 complex

Daniel A. Bochar, Zhen Qiang Pan, Ronald Knights, Robert P. Fisher, Ali Shilatifard, Ramin Shiekhattar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) can be isolated as a subunit of a trimeric kinase complex functional in activation of the mitotic promoting factor. In this study, we demonstrate that the trimeric cdk-activating kinase (CAK) acts as a transcriptional repressor of class II promoters and show that repression results from CAK impeding the entry of RNA polymerase II and basal transcription factor IIF into a competent preinitiation complex. This repression is independent of CDK7 kinase activity. We find that the p36/MAT1 subunit of CAK is required for transcriptional repression and the repression is independent of the promoter used. Our results demonstrate a central role for CAK in regulation of messenger RNA synthesis by either inhibition of RNA polymerase II-catalyzed transcription or stimulation of transcription through association with basal transcription repair factor IIH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13162-13166
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 7 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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