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Cell. 1984 Nov;39(1):173-80.

Dual promoter control of the Escherichia coli lactose operon.


The control of transcription initiation at the lactose operon promoter was investigated in vitro. We found that an upstream promoter (termed lac P2) interfered with RNA polymerase binding at the principal promoter (termed lac P1). The start site for lac P2 was located at base pair position -22 relative to the P1 start site. The addition of cAMP receptor protein and cAMP was shown to repress lac P2 and to activate lac P1. Abortive initiation reactions for both promoters were used to investigate the coordinate repression-activation elicited by CRP-cAMP. The effects of lac promoter mutations (L8, Ps, and UV5) were consistent with an important RNA polymerase positioning role for CRP-cAMP in the activation of lac operon expression.

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