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Virology. 2008 Jun 20;376(1):211-24. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.03.011. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

Determinants of vaccinia virus early gene transcription termination.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, SUNY School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY, 14214-3200, USA.


Vaccinia virus early gene transcription requires the vaccinia termination factor, VTF, nucleoside triphosphate phosphohydrolase I, NPH I, ATP, the virion RNA polymerase, and the motif, UUUUUNU, in the nascent RNA, found within 30 to 50 bases from the poly A addition site, in vivo. In this study, the relationships among the vaccinia early gene transcription termination efficiency, termination motif specificity, and the elongation rate were investigated. A low transcription elongation rate maximizes termination efficiency and minimizes specificity for the UUUUUNU motif. Positioning the termination motif over a 63 base area upstream from the RNA polymerase allowed efficient transcript release, demonstrating a remarkable plasticity in the transcription termination complex. Efficient transcript release was observed during ongoing transcription, independent of VTF or UUUUUNU, but requiring both NPH I and either ATP or dATP. This argues for a two step model: the specifying step, requiring both VTF and UUUUUNU, and the energy-dependent step employing NPH I and ATP. Evaluation of NPH I mutants for the ability to stimulate transcription elongation demonstrated that ATPase activity and a stable interaction between NPH I and the Rap94 subunit of the viral RNA polymerase are required. These observations demonstrate that NPH I is a component of the elongating RNA polymerase, which is catalytically active during transcription elongation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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