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Cell. 1994 Sep 9;78(5):889-96.

Domain organization of RNA polymerase alpha subunit: C-terminal 85 amino acids constitute a domain capable of dimerization and DNA binding.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08855.

Abstract

Using limited proteolysis, we show that the Escherichia coli RNA polymerase alpha subunit consists of an N-terminal domain comprised of amino acids 8-241, a C-terminal domain comprised of amino acids 249-329, and an unstructured and/or flexible interdomain linker. We have carried out a detailed structural and functional analysis of an 85 amino acid proteolytic fragment corresponding to the C-terminal domain (alpha CTD-2). Our results establish that alpha CTD-2 has a defined secondary structure (approximately 40% alpha helix, approximately 0% beta sheet). Our results further establish that alpha CTD-2 is a dimer and that alpha CTD-2 exhibits sequence-specific DNA binding activity. Our results suggest a model for the mechanism of involvement of alpha in transcription activation by promoter upstream elements and upstream-binding activator proteins.

PMID:
8087855
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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