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Mol Microbiol. 2004 Oct;54(1):45-59.

Versatility of the carboxy-terminal domain of the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase in transcriptional activation: use of the DNA contact site as a protein contact site for MarA.

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  • 1Laboratory of Chemical Physics, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

The transcriptional activator, MarA, interacts with RNA polymerase (RNAP) to activate promoters of the mar regulon. Here, we identify the interacting surfaces of MarA and of the carboxy-terminal domain of the alpha subunit of RNAP (alpha-CTD) by NMR-based chemical shift mapping. Spectral changes were monitored for a MarA-DNA complex upon titration with alpha-CTD, and for alpha-CTD upon titration with MarA-DNA. The mapping results were confirmed by mutational studies and retention chromatography. A model of the ternary complex shows that alpha-CTD uses a '265-like determinant' to contact MarA at a surface distant from the DNA. This is unlike the interaction of alpha-CTD with the CRP or Fis activators where the '265 determinant' contacts DNA while another surface of the same alpha-CTD molecule contacts the activator. These results reveal a new versatility for alpha-CTD in transcriptional activation.

PMID:
15458404
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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