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Genes Dev. 1998 Mar 1;12(5):745-54.

Conversion of the omega subunit of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase into a transcriptional activator or an activation target.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Evidence obtained in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes indicates that arbitrary contacts between DNA-bound proteins and components of the transcriptional machinery can activate transcription. Here we demonstrate that the Escherichia coli omega protein, which copurifies with RNA polymerase, can function as a transcriptional activator when linked covalently to a DNA-binding protein. We show further that omega can function as an activation target when this covalent linkage is replaced by a pair of interacting polypeptides fused to the DNA-binding protein and to omega, respectively. Our findings imply that the omega protein is associated with RNA polymerase holoenzyme in vivo, and provide support for the hypothesis that contact between a DNA-bound protein and any component of E. coli RNA polymerase can activate transcription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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