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Science. 2012 Nov 23;338(6110):1076-80. doi: 10.1126/science.1227786. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

Structural basis of transcription initiation.

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1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Waksman Institute, and Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.

Abstract

During transcription initiation, RNA polymerase (RNAP) binds and unwinds promoter DNA to form an RNAP-promoter open complex. We have determined crystal structures at 2.9 and 3.0 Å resolution of functional transcription initiation complexes comprising Thermus thermophilus RNA polymerase, σ(A), and a promoter DNA fragment corresponding to the transcription bubble and downstream double-stranded DNA of the RNAP-promoter open complex. The structures show that σ recognizes the -10 element and discriminator element through interactions that include the unstacking and insertion into pockets of three DNA bases and that RNAP recognizes the -4/+2 region through interactions that include the unstacking and insertion into a pocket of the +2 base. The structures further show that interactions between σ and template-strand single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) preorganize template-strand ssDNA to engage the RNAP active center.

PMID:
23086998
PMCID:
PMC3593053
DOI:
10.1126/science.1227786
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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