RNA pol II is highly post-translationally modified, and we recently helped to show that a newly discovered acetylation modification of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of its RPB1 subunit regulates transcription in mammals. In this study we trace the evolution of the RPBI CTD and show that the potential for acetylation arose in the early history of animals, and that potential for CTD acetylation expanded in specific developmentally complex metazoan lineages. Functional analysis of genes regulated by acetylation of RPB1 highlight functions involved in the origin of and diversification of complex Metazoa. This suggests that acetylation of RPB1 may have played a role in the success of animals.
Evolution of lysine acetylation in the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain