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Nature. 1990 Apr 5;344(6266):559-62.

Specific interaction of the murine transcription termination factor TTF I with class-I RNA polymerases.

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Institut für Biochemie, Würzburg, FRG.


The 18-base-pair sequence element AGGTCGACCAGTACTCCG (the Sal box) signals termination of mouse ribosomal gene transcription. This sequence is recognized by a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein, TTF I, which mediates the termination of transcription by RNA polymerase I (pol I). Subsequently, the ends of the primary transcripts are trimmed by 10 nucleotides in a sequence-dependent 3'-terminal processing reaction. We have now investigated whether TTF I bound to its target sequence will block elongation by any RNA polymerase by steric hindrance, or whether it is specific for elongation by pol I. The results demonstrate that TTF I directs transcription termination with RNA polymerase I from species as divergent as mouse and yeast, but fails to affect elongation by heterologous polymerases (eukaryotic RNA polymerases II and III, Escherichia coli or bacteriophage T3 RNA polymerase). By contrast, purified lac repressor bound to its operator sequence stops elongation by both RNA polymerase I and II.

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