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Bacteriophage. 2014 May 29;4:e29399. eCollection 2014.

Molecular basis of RNA polymerase promoter specificity switch revealed through studies of Thermus bacteriophage transcription regulator.

Author information

1
Waksman Institute; Rutgers; The State University of New Jersey; Piscataway, NJ USA ; St. Petersburg Polytechnical State University; St. Petersburg, Russia ; Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology; Skolkovo, Russia.
2
Waksman Institute; Rutgers; The State University of New Jersey; Piscataway, NJ USA.
3
RIKEN Systems and Structural Biology Center; Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama Japan ; Division of Structural and Synthetic Biology; RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies; Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama Japan.
4
St. Petersburg Polytechnical State University; St. Petersburg, Russia ; Institutes of Gene Biology and Molecular Genetics; Russian Academy of Sciences; Moscow, Russia.
5
RIKEN Systems and Structural Biology Center; Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama Japan ; RIKEN Structural Biology Laboratory; Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama Japan.

Abstract

Transcription initiation is the central point of gene expression regulation. Understanding of molecular mechanism of transcription regulation requires, ultimately, the structural understanding of consequences of transcription factors binding to DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP), the enzyme of transcription. We recently determined a structure of a complex between transcription factor gp39 encoded by a Thermus bacteriophage and Thermus RNAP holoenzyme. In this addendum to the original publication, we highlight structural insights that explain the ability of gp39 to act as an RNAP specificity switch which inhibits transcription initiation from a major class of bacterial promoters, while allowing transcription from a minor promoter class to continue.

KEYWORDS:

bacterial RNA polymerase; bacteriophage; inhibitor; sigma factor; transcription regulation

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