His research focuses on the mechanism of transcription by RNA polymerase I
. RNA polymerase is
an enzyme found in all living organizations.
John Donelson (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA) reviewed antigenic variation in Trypanosoma bruce; and recent findings on the use of an extranucleolar body containing RNA polymerase I
to regulate expression of VSG genes.
Once the RNA polymerase is
bound to its specific sites in the DNA, it starts synthesizing the messenger RNA (mRNA) by copying one strand of the DNA.
In vitro transcription using T7 RNA polymerase is
also often used to assess the site-specific incorporation of unnatural bases into RNA.
In the method, T7 RNA polymerase is
used to catalyze the transcription.
When the T7 RNA polymerase is
in the cytoplasm, it acts with high specific affinity upon unique T7 promoter sequences incorporated into the vector, resulting in the generation of RNA transcripts that encode additional T7 polymerase and a second gene of interest.
"The RNA polymerase is
used to make new copies of the virus," Kawaoka says.