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J Mol Biol. 2005 Oct 14;353(1):138-54.

Structure and function of lineage-specific sequence insertions in the bacterial RNA polymerase beta' subunit.

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The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The large beta and beta' subunits of the bacterial core RNA polymerase (RNAP) are highly conserved throughout evolution. Nevertheless, large sequence insertions in beta and beta' characterize specific evolutionary lineages of bacteria. The Thermus aquaticus RNAP beta' subunit contains a 283 residue insert between conserved regions A and B that is found in only four bacterial species. The Escherichia coli RNAP beta' subunit contains a 188 residue insert in the middle of conserved region G that is found in a wide range of bacterial species. Here, we present structural studies of these two beta' insertions. We show that the inserts comprise repeats of a previously characterized fold, the sandwich-barrel hybrid motif (as predicted from previous sequence analysis) and that the inserts serve significant roles in facilitating protein/protein and/or protein/nucleic acid interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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