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J Mol Biol. 1994 Aug 19;241(3):341-52.

Transcription activation by the Escherichia coli cyclic AMP receptor protein. Receptors bound in tandem at promoters can interact synergistically.

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School of Biochemistry, University of Birmingham, U.K.


Starting with a semi-synthetic Escherichia coli promoter with a binding site for the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) centred between base-pairs 41 and 42 upstream from the transcription start site, a second upstream CRP-binding site, centred between base-pairs 90 and 91, was introduced. CRP binding to this second upstream site results in a several-fold greater stimulation of CRP-dependent transcription initiation, compared to activation at the starting promoter with just one CRP-binding site. Activation of transcription by the upstream CRP molecule is blocked by the HL159 substitution, suggesting that the upstream-bound CRP makes a direct contact with RNA polymerase. Footprinting experiments suggest that RNA polymerase contacts the promoter DNA between the two CRP-binding sites, most likely due to interactions involving the C-terminal part of the alpha subunit. Synergy between tandem bound CRP molecules in transcription activation requires that the two CRP-binding sites be separated by around 40 or 50 base-pairs, but is not found at intermediate spacings. An experiment in which the upstream CRP-binding site is replaced by a site for the related transcription factor, FNR, shows that heterologous synergistic interactions between FNR and CRP are possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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