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Cell. 2001 Jun 29;105(7):935-44.

A coiled-coil from the RNA polymerase beta' subunit allosterically induces selective nontemplate strand binding by sigma(70).

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


For transcription to initiate, RNA polymerase must recognize and melt promoters. Selective binding to the nontemplate strand of the -10 region of the promoter is central to this process. We show that a 48 amino acid (aa) coiled-coil from the beta' subunit (aa 262--309) induces sigma(70) to perform this function almost as efficiently as core RNA polymerase itself. We provide evidence that interaction between the beta' coiled-coil and region 2.2 of sigma(70) promotes an allosteric transition that allows sigma(70) to selectively recognize the nontemplate strand. As the beta' 262--309 peptide can function with the previously crystallized portion of sigma(70), nontemplate recognition can be reconstituted with only 47 kDa, or 1/10 of holoenzyme.

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