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Cell. 1987 Sep 25;50(7):1039-46.

Initiation of transcription at the bacterial glnAp2 promoter by purified E. coli components is facilitated by enhancers.


The initiation of transcription from the nitrogen-regulated promoter glnAp2 requires RNA polymerase containing sigma 54, the transcriptional activator NRI, and the protein kinase NRII, responsible for the conversion of NRI to the active NRI-phosphate. NRI-phosphate does not increase the ability of sigma 54-containing RNA polymerase to bind to the promoter, but rather stimulates the conversion of an initial promoter:polymerase complex to the transcriptionally active open complex. The presence on the DNA template of high-affinity binding sites for NRI/NRI-phosphate, normally located 130 and 100 bp upstream of the site of transcription initiation, results in a 4- to 5-fold lowering of the concentration of NRI required for the formation of the open complex. These high-affinity NRI binding sites facilitate open complex formation when they are moved to positions 700 bp further upstream or 950 bp downstream of glnAp2 on linear DNA templates.

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