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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan;39(1):168-77. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq752. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Coupling of transcription and replication machineries in λ DNA replication initiation: evidence for direct interaction of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase and the λO protein.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology (affiliated with the University of Gdańsk), Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Gdańsk, Poland.


Transcription proceeding downstream of the λ phage replication origin was previously shown to support initial steps of the λ primosome assembly in vitro and to regulate frequency and directionality of λ DNA replication in vivo. In this report, the data are presented indicating that the RNA polymerase β subunit makes a direct contact with the λO protein, a replication initiator of λ phage. These results suggest that the role of RNA polymerase during the initiation of λ phage DNA replication may be more complex than solely influencing DNA topology. Results demonstrated in this study also show that gyrase supercoiling activity stimulates the formation of a complex between λO and RNA polymerase, suggesting that the introduction of negative supercoils by DNA gyrase, besides lowering the energy required for DNA strand separation, may play an additional role in modeling protein-protein interactions at early steps of DNA replication initiation.

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