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FEBS Lett. 2001 Dec 7;509(2):235-8.

Phased A-tracts bind to the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase with increased affinity at low temperature.

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Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Okayama University of Science, 1-1, Ridai-cho, Okayama 700-0005, Japan.


Previously we showed that the expression of a Clostridium perfringens phospholipase C gene (plc) is activated by promoter upstream phased A-tracts in a low temperature-dependent manner. In this paper we characterize the interaction between the alpha subunit of C. perfringens RNA polymerase and the phased A-tracts. Hydroxyl radical footprinting and fluorescence polarization assaying revealed that the alpha subunit binds to the minor grooves of the phased A-tracts through its C-terminal domain with increased affinity at low temperature. The result provides a molecular mechanism underlying the activation of the plc promoter by the phased A-tracts.

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