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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2001 Apr;4(2):145-51.

Mechanisms of transcriptional repression.

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Departamento de Biotecnología Microbiana, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, CSIC, Campus de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049-, Madrid, Spain.


Transcriptional repressors are usually viewed as proteins that bind to promoters in a way that impedes subsequent binding of RNA polymerase. Although this repression mechanism is found at several promoters, there is a growing list of repressors that inhibit transcription initiation in other ways. For example, several repressors allow the simultaneous binding of RNA polymerase to the promoter, but interfere with subsequent events of the initiation process, eventually inhibiting transcription initiation. The recent increase in the number of repressors for which the repression mechanism has been characterized in detail has shown an amazing variety of strategies to repress transcription initiation. It is not surprising to find that the repression mechanism used is usually exquisitely adapted to the characteristics of the promoter and of the repressor involved.

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