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Cell. 2012 Jul 20;150(2):243-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.06.025.

Unfolding the bridge between transcription and translation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Transcription antiterminator RfaH alternates between closed (inactive) and open (activated) conformation. In this issue of Cell, Burmann et al. show that opening is accompanied by dramatic all-α to all-β refolding of its C-terminal domain. Each of the folds has a distinct function: all-α-fold acts as a specificity determinant, directing RfaH to a small subset of operons, whereas the all-β-fold recruits ribosome, thereby coupling RfaH-stimulated transcription to translation.

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