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Mol Microbiol. 2008 Dec;70(5):1136-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06462.x. Epub 2008 Sep 30.

Rsd family proteins make simultaneous interactions with regions 2 and 4 of the primary sigma factor.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Bacterial anti-sigma factors typically regulate sigma factor function by restricting the access of their cognate sigma factors to the RNA polymerase (RNAP) core enzyme. The Escherichia coli Rsd protein forms a complex with the primary sigma factor, sigma(70), inhibits sigma(70)-dependent transcription in vitro, and has been proposed to function as a sigma(70)-specific anti-sigma factor, thereby facilitating the utilization of alternative sigma factors. In prior work, Rsd has been shown to interact with conserved region 4 of sigma(70), but it is not known whether this interaction suffices to account for the regulatory functions of Rsd. Here we show that Rsd and the Rsd orthologue AlgQ, a global regulator of gene expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, interact with conserved region 2 of sigma(70). We show further that Rsd and AlgQ can interact simultaneously with regions 2 and 4 of sigma(70). Our findings establish that the abilities of Rsd and AlgQ to interact with sigma(70) region 2 are important determinants of their in vitro and in vivo activities.

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