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Annu Rev Genet. 1996;30:35-57.

Control of transcription termination in prokaryotes.

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Department of Microbiology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.


A growing number of genetic systems have been shown to be controlled at the level of premature termination of transcription. Genes in this class contain transcription termination signals in the region upstream of the coding sequence. The activity of these regulatory termination signals is controlled through a variety of mechanisms. These include modification of RNA polymerase to a terminator-resistant, or terminator-prone form, and alterations in the structure of the nascent transcript, to determine whether the stem-loop structure of an intrinsic terminator or an alternate antiterminator is formed. Structural alterations in the transcript can be controlled by the kinetics of translation of the RNA, by binding of specific regulatory proteins, and by mRNA-tRNA interactions. This review describes a number of variations on the termination control theme that have been uncovered in prokaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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