DNA-dependent RNA polymerase catalyzes the transcription of DNA into RNA using the four ribonucleoside triphosphates as substrates. POLR3A is the largest and catalytic core component of RNA polymerase III which synthesizes small RNAs, such as 5S rRNA and tRNAs. It forms the polymerase active center together with the second largest subunit. A single stranded DNA template strand of the promoter is positioned within the central active site cleft of Pol III. A bridging helix emanates from RPC1 and crosses the cleft near the catalytic site and is thought to promote translocation of Pol III by acting as a ratchet that moves the RNA-DNA hybrid through the active site by switching from straight to bent conformations at each step of nucleotide addition.
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