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Annu Rev Microbiol. 1996;50:645-77.

rRNA transcription and growth rate-dependent regulation of ribosome synthesis in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.


The synthesis of ribosomal RNA is the rate-limiting step in ribosome synthesis in bacteria. There are multiple mechanisms that determine the rate of rRNA synthesis. Ribosomal RNA promoter sequences have evolved for exceptional strength and for regulation in response to nutritional conditions and amino acid availability. Strength derives in part from an extended RNA polymerase (RNAP) recognition region involving at least two RNAP subunits, in part from activation by a transcription factor and in part from modification of the transcript by a system that prevents premature termination. Regulation derives from at least two mechanistically distinct systems, growth rate-dependent control and stringent control. The mechanisms contributing to rRNA transcription work together and compensate for one another when individual systems are rendered inoperative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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