Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 1984 Jul 15;176(4):495-522.

Kinetics and mechanism of the interaction of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase with the lambda PR promoter.


The kinetics of formation and dissociation of specific (open) complexes between active Escherichia coli RNA polymerase holoenzyme (RNAP) and the lambda PR promoter have been studied by selective nitrocellulose filter binding assays at two temperatures (25 degrees C, 37 degrees C) and over a range of ionic conditions. Competition with a polyanion (heparin) or stabilization of open promoter complexes at PR by incubation with specific combinations of nucleoside triphosphates was employed to obtain selectivity in the filter assay. This study provides a useful example of how information about mechanism may be obtained from the quantitative analysis of the effects of salt concentration and temperature on the rate constants of a protein-DNA interaction. The association reaction between RNAP and lambda PR was investigated under ionic conditions where the process is essentially irreversible, and under pseudo first-order conditions of excess polymerase. The pseudo first-order rate constant is directly proportional to the concentration of active polymerase over the entire range investigated (2 to 10 nM) at both 25 degrees C and 37 degrees C, within experimental uncertainty. Second-order association rate constants (ka), calculated from these data at standard ionic conditions (0.12 M-KCl, 0.01 M-MgCl2, 0.04 M-Tris (pH 8)), were strongly temperature-dependent: ka = (2.6 +/- 0.4) X 10(6) M-1 S-1 at 37 degrees C and ka = (7.2 +/- 1.4) X 10(5) M-1 s-1 at 25 degrees C, corresponding to an activation energy of the association reaction of approximately 20 +/- 5 kcal. In addition, ka decreases strongly with increasing KCl concentration, corresponding to the net release of the thermodynamic equivalent of at least nine monovalent ions prior to or during the rate-limiting step of the association reaction. This strong dependence of ka on the ionic environment suggests that inorganic cations should be considered as possible regulators of in vivo transcription initiation. Dissociation rate constants (kd) were also measured under irreversible reaction conditions. At the standard ionic conditions, kd = (2.2 +/- 0.3) X 10(-5) s-1 at 37 degrees C and kd = (4.0 +/- 0.4) X 10(-5) s-1 at 25 degrees C. The increase in kd with decreasing temperature corresponds to a negative activation energy of dissociation (-9 +/- 4 kcal). In addition, kd increases with increasing KCl concentration, corresponding to the net uptake of the thermodynamic equivalent of at least six monovalent ions in or prior to the rate-limiting step of the dissociation reaction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center