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Mol Microbiol. 1999 Jan;31(2):651-63.

Autogenous regulation of transcription termination factor Rho and the requirement for Nus factors in Bacillus subtilis.

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School of Biological Sciences, Nottingham University, UK.


The expression and activity of transcription termination factor Rho and the requirement for transcription elongation factors NusA and NusG was investigated in Bacillus subtilis. Rho was present at < 5% of the level found in Escherichia coli, but Rho factors from these two bacteria had similar properties as RNA-activated ATPases and in vitro termination of transcription on the lambda tR1 terminator. The B. subtilis rho gene was autoregulated at the level of transcription; autoregulation required sequences within the rho mRNA leader region and gene. To date, the B. subtilis rho is the only gene from a Gram-positive bacterium found to be regulated by Rho. Rho was not involved in bulk mRNA decay in B. subtilis. The E. coli elongation factors NusA and NusG target Rho, and the importance of these proteins in B. subtilis was examined by gene disruption. The B. subtilis NusG was inessential for both the viability and the autoregulation of Rho, whereas NusA was essential, and the requirement for NusA was independent of Rho. This contrasts with E. coli in which NusG is essential but NusA becomes dispensable if Rho terminates transcription less efficiently.

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