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Mol Microbiol. 2010 Jul;77(2):324-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07208.x. Epub 2010 May 19.

RNA polymerase mutations that facilitate replication progression in the rep uvrD recF mutant lacking two accessory replicative helicases.

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CNRS, Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, FRE 3144, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


We observed that cells lacking Rep and UvrD, two replication accessory helicases, and the recombination protein RecF are cryo-sensitive on rich medium. We isolated five mutations that suppress this Luria-Bertani (LB)-cryo-sensitivity and show that they map in the genes encoding the RNA polymerase subunits RpoB and RpoC. These rpoB (D444G, H447R and N518D) and rpoC mutants (H113R and P451L) were characterized. rpoB(H447R) and rpoB(D444G) prevent activation of the Prrn core promoter in rich medium, but only rpoB(H447R) also suppresses the auxotrophy of a relA spoT mutant (stringent-like phenotype). rpoC(H113R) suppresses the thermo-sensitivity of a greA greB mutant, suggesting that it destabilizes stalled elongation complexes. All mutations but rpoC(P451L) prevent R-loop formation. We propose that these rpo mutations allow replication in the absence of Rep and UvrD by destabilizing RNA Pol upon replication-transcription collisions. In a RecF(+) context, they improve growth of rep uvrD cells only if DinG is present, supporting the hypothesis that Rep, UvrD and DinG facilitate progression of the replication fork across transcribed sequences. They rescue rep uvrD dinG recF cells, indicating that in a recF mutant replication forks arrested by unstable transcription complexes can restart without any of the three known replication accessory helicases Rep, UvrD and DinG.

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