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Curr Opin Microbiol. 1998 Apr;1(2):152-9.

Positive activation of gene expression.

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School of Biochemistry, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.


Most bacterial transcription activators function by making direct contact with RNA polymerase at target promoters. Some activators contact the carboxy-terminal domain of the RNA polymerase alpha subunit, some contact region 4 of the sigma70 subunit, whilst others interact with other contact sites. A number of activators are ambidextrous and can, apparently simultaneously, contact more than one target site on RNA polymerase. Expression from many promoters is co-dependent on two or more activators. There are several different mechanisms for coupling promoter activity to more than one activator: in one such mechanism, the different activators make independent contacts with different target sites on RNA polymerase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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