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Mol Cell. 2004 Mar 12;13(5):703-11.

Features of a leader peptide coding region that regulate translation initiation for the anti-TRAP protein of B. subtilis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 USA.


The rtpA gene of Bacillus subtilis encodes the Anti-TRAP protein, AT. AT can bind and inhibit the TRAP regulatory protein, preventing TRAP from promoting transcription termination in the trpEDCFBA operon leader region. AT synthesis is upregulated transcriptionally and translationally in response to the accumulation of uncharged tRNA(Trp). Here we analyze AT's translational regulation by rtpLP, a 10 residue leader peptide coding region located immediately preceding the rtpA Shine-Dalgarno sequence. Our findings suggest that, whenever the charged tRNA(Trp) level is sufficient to allow the ribosome translating rtpLP to reach its stop codon, it blocks the adjacent rtpA Shine-Dalgarno sequence, inhibiting AT synthesis. However, when there is a charged tRNA(Trp) deficiency, the translating ribosome presumably stalls at one of three adjacent rtpLP Trp codons. This stalling exposes the rtpA Shine-Dalgarno sequence, permitting AT synthesis. RNA-RNA pairing may also influence AT synthesis. Production of AT would inactivate TRAP, thereby increasing trp operon expression.

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