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Mol Microbiol. 1997 Feb;23(3):413-21.

Antitermination of transcription of catabolic operons.

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Department of Microbiology, Lund University, Sweden.


Antitermination of transcription mediated by proteins interacting with mRNA sequences is described for nine operons/regulons. Eight of the systems are catabolic, while the ninth, the Klebsiella pneumoniae nas regulon, is involved in the assimilation of nitrate and nitrite. Six of the catabolic operons/regulons are found in Bacillus subtilis, one is found in Escherichia coli, and one in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The antitermination system of five of the operons/regulons (E. coli blg, and sacPA, sacB, bgl, and lic from B. subtilis) are assigned to the bgl-sac family on the basis of extensive similarities with regard to antiterminator proteins and the sequences of the antiterminators. Other members of the bgl-sac family are the arb operon of Erwinia chrysanthemi and a presumed bgl operon of Lactococcus lactis. The antitermination systems of the other four operons/regulons (B. subtilis glp, B. subtilis hut, P. aeruginosa ami, and K. pneumoniae nas) seem to be unrelated both to the bgl-sac family and to each other. The antiterminator protein of the B. subtilis glp regulon has been found not only to cause antitermination but also to stabilize the resultant mRNA and to mediate glucose repression. If other antiterminator proteins, and antitermination factors, also prove to have additional functions, it will broaden the impact of antitermination as a means of controlling gene expression.

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