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Mol Gen Genet. 1987 Dec;210(2):358-63.

Direct evidence for rifampicin-promoted readthrough of the partial terminator tL7 in the rpoBC operon of Escherichia coli.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


The RNA polymerase subunits beta and beta' of Escherichia coli, encoded by the genes rpoB and rpoC, are co-transcribed with four 50 S ribosomal protein genes, rplKAJL. After treatment with the antibiotic rifampicin a partial uncoupling of rpoBC from rplKAJL transcription occurs. We have been investigating the role played in uncoupling by tL7, an 80% efficient terminator of transcription present in the 319 bp intercistronic space between rplL and rpoB, using S1 nuclease mapping of transcripts produced in vivo in normal (rpoBC haploid) strains. Our results show directly that rifampicin stimulates readthrough of tL7 on the chromosome by approximately twofold, an effect sufficient to explain the observed increase in beta beta' protein synthesis. We also provide preliminary evidence for the map position of PL7, and show that both this and P beta, two very weak promoters which might in principle be activated by rifampicin, are not in fact stimulated by the drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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