Ukr.Biochem.J. 2022; Volume 94, Issue 4, Jul-Aug, pp. 93-102


Studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription. Roger Kornberg the Nobel prize in Chemistry 2006

O. P. Matyshevska*, V. M. Danylova, S. V. Komisarenko

Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiyv;

Received: 18 October 2022; Revised: 25 October 2022;
Accepted: 04 November 2022; Available on-line: 14 November 2022

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2006 was awarded to an American biochemist and professor of structural biology at Stanford University Roger Kornberg for his fundamental research on the molecular mechanisms of copying genetic information in eukaryotic cells. What are these molecular mechanisms? How is transcription complex formed and what is its structure? R. Kornberg devoted tirelessly 20 years of his work to answer these questions. The article is focused on his research and also describes Roger Kornberg’s life and scientific career.

Keywords: , , , , , ,


  1. Kornberg R. D. The molecular basis of eukaryotiс transcription. Nobel Lecture. 2006. Stanford University, School of Medicine, Stanford, USA. CrossRef
  2. Roger D. Kornberg – Facts. Regime of access :
  3. Matyshevska OP, Danilova VM, Komisarenko SV. The discovery of the mechanisms of biological synthesis of nucleic acids: 1959 Nobel laureates S. Ochoa and A. Kornberg. Ukr Biochem J. 2021;93(1):129-138. CrossRef
  4. Roger D. Kornberg – Interview. Regime of access :
  5. Kornberg RD, McConnell HM. Inside-outside transitions of phospholipids in vesicle membranes. Biochemistry. 1971;10(7):1111-1120. PubMed, CrossRef
  6. Kornberg RD, McConnell HM. Lateral diffusion of phospholipids in a vesicle membrane. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1971;68(10):2564-2568. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  7. Crick F. General model for the chromosomes of higher organisms. Nature. 1971;234(5323):25-27. PubMed, CrossRef
  8. Van der Westhuyzen DR, von Holt C. A new procedure for the isolation and fractionation of histones. FEBS Lett. 1971;14(5):333-337. PubMed, CrossRef
  9. Kornberg RD, Thomas JO. Chromatin structure; oligomers of the histones. Science. 1974;184(4139):865-868. PubMed, CrossRef
  10. At the intersection of chemistry, genetics and biology. Regime of access:
  11. Lorch Y, LaPointe JW, Kornberg RD. Nucleosomes inhibit the initiation of transcription but allow chain elongation with the displacement of histones. Cell. 1987;49(2):203-210. PubMed, CrossRef
  12. Conaway RC, Conaway JW. General transcription factors for RNA polymerase II. Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol. 1997;56:327-346. PubMed, CrossRef
  13. Uzgiris EE, Kornberg RD. Two-dimensional crystallization technique for imaging macromolecules, with application to antigen–antibody–complement complexes. Nature. 1983;301(5896):125-129. PubMed, CrossRef
  14. Darst SA, Kubalek EW, Edwards AM, Kornberg RD. Two-dimensional and epitaxial crystallization of a mutant form of yeast RNA polymerase II. J Mol Biol. 1991;221(1):347-357. PubMed, CrossRef
  15. Danilova VM, Vynogradova RP, Komisarenko SV. The contribution of Nobel prize laureates to research of the protein structure: J. Sumner, J. Northrop, W. Stanley, L. Pauling, F. Sanger, M. Perutz, J. Kendrew. Ukr Biochem J. 2020;92(4):127-153. CrossRef
  16. Komisarenko S. The ways how the genetic information is realized. Visnyk NAS Ukraine. 2009;(12):40-45.
  17. Matyshevska OP, Danilova VM, Komisarenko SV. The discovery of the DNA double helix, or the revolution that ushered in the era of molecular biology (Nobel Prize 1962). Ukr Biochem J. 2020;92(6):183-198. CrossRef
  18. Danylova TV, Komisarenko SV. Double Nobel Prize Winner: Frederick Sanger – The Father of Genomics. Ukr Biochem J. 2021;93(2):116-122. CrossRef
  19. Cramer P, Bushnell DA, Kornberg RD. Structural basis of transcription: RNA polymerase II at 2.8 angstrom resolution. Science. 2001;292(5523):1863-1876. PubMed, CrossRef
  20. Gnatt AL, Cramer P, Fu J, Bushnell DA, Kornberg RD. Structural basis of transcription: an RNA polymerase II elongation complex at 3.3 A resolution. Science. 2001;292(5523):1876-1882. PubMed, CrossRef
  21. Wang D, Bushnell DA, Westover KD, Kaplan CD, Kornberg RD. Structural basis of transcription: role of the trigger loop in substrate specificity and catalysis. Cell. 2006;127(5):941-954. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  22. Kelleher RJ 3rd, Flanagan PM, Kornberg RD. A novel mediator between activator proteins and the RNA polymerase II transcription apparatus. Cell. 1990;61(7):1209-1215. PubMed, CrossRef
  23. Kornberg RD. Mediator and the mechanism of transcriptional activation. Trends Biochem Sci. 2005;30(5):235-239.  PubMed, CrossRef
  24. Roger Kornberg wins the 2006 nobel prize in chemistry. Stanford report, October 4, 2006.
  25. Duchi D, Mazumder A, Malinen AM, Ebright RH, Kapanidis AN. The RNA polymerase clamp interconverts dynamically among three states and is stabilized in a partly closed state by ppGpp. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018;46(14):7284-7295. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  26. Nedialkov YA, Opron K, Caudill HL, Assaf F, Anderson AJ, Cukier RI, Wei G, Burton ZF. Hinge action versus grip in translocation by RNA polymerase. Transcription. 2018;9(1):1-16. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  27. Schier AC, Taatjes DJ. Structure and mechanism of the RNA polymerase II transcription machinery. Genes Dev. 2020;34(7-8):465-488. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  28. Mazumder A, Lin M, Kapanidis AN, Ebright RH. Closing and opening of the RNA polymerase trigger loop. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2020;117(27):15642-15649. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef
  29. Richter WF, Nayak S, Iwasa J, Taatjes DJ. The Mediator complex as a master regulator of transcription by RNA polymerase II. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2022;23(11):732-749. PubMed, PubMedCentral, CrossRef

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.