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Mol Cell. 1998 Jan;1(2):265-75.

Independent ligand-induced folding of the RNA-binding domain and two functionally distinct antitermination regions in the phage lambda N protein.

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  • 1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The transcriptional antitermination protein N of bacteriophage lambda binds the boxB component of the RNA enhancer nut (boxA + boxB) and the E. coli elongation factor NusA. Efficient antitermination by N requires an RNA-binding domain (amino acids 1-22) and two activating regions for antitermination: a newly identified NusA-binding region (amino acids 34-47) that suppresses NusA's enhancement of termination, and a carboxy-terminal region (amino acids 73-107) that interacts directly with RNA polymerase. Heteronuclear magnetic resonance experiments demonstrate that N is a disordered protein. Interaction with boxB RNA induces only the RNA-binding domain of N to adopt a folded conformation, while the activating regions of the protein remain disordered in the absence of their target proteins.

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