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J Mol Biol. 1988 Aug 20;202(4):735-42.

Multiple promoters for transcription of the Escherichia coli DNA topoisomerase I gene and their regulation by DNA supercoiling.

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  • 1E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. Central Research and Development Department, Wilmington, DE 19898.


There are four transcriptional promoters present in the 5' control region of the Escherichia coli DNA topoisomerase I (topA) gene. These were identified with Bal31 nuclease-generated deletions and mapping of the 5' ends of the mRNAs with avian reverse transcriptase. Recombinant plasmids with all or some of these promoters fused to the galactokinase (galK) gene-coding region have been constructed and used to study transcription from the promoters both in vitro and in vivo. The promoter (P1) closest to the starting ATG codon has a near consensus -35 sequence (GTTGATA) but unusual -10 (CATATCG) sequence. The other three promoters (P2, P3 and P4) are clustered together 60 base-pairs further upstream. Negative DNA supercoiling is required for efficient transcription from P1, P1 + P2 + P3 + P4, P2 + P3 + P4, P3 + P4 and P4 alone. The combination of all four promoters demonstrates greater supercoiling dependence than does any of the other subsets tested.

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