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Ann Inst Pasteur Microbiol. 1986 Nov-Dec;137B(3):259-70.

A subfamily of E. coli palindromic units implicated in transcription termination?

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  • 1CNRS, UA271 INSERM U163, Institut Pasteur, Paris.


We previously described a family of dispersed palindromic sequences highly repeated in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium genomes. These sequences, called PU (palindromic units), are located outside structural genes. Conflicting results have been reported on the effects of different PU in transcription termination. Two PU located between co-transcribed genes in S. typhimurium were found not to cause transcription termination [25]. One PU located between convergently transcribed genes in E. coli behaved as bidirectional transcription terminators [12]. In the present paper, we show that three PU located between co-transcribed genes in E. coli are not a transcription terminator. From the literature, we define a subfamily of PU, which we called PU, located between convergently transcribed genes which we implicate in bidirectional transcription termination. This plus the analysis of another PU which terminates transcription suggest that pecularities in the sequence or in the sequence environment of PU determine their role in transcription termination.

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