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J Mol Biol. 1998 May 1;278(2):307-16.

Combinatorial effects of NusA and NusG on transcription elongation and Rho-dependent termination in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


The transcription factors NusA and NusG from Escherichia coli are modulators of the RNA polymerase elongation reaction and Rho-dependent transcription termination. NusA decreases the elongation rate and termination efficiency while NusG increases both activities. Both Nus factors are able to physically interact with Rho and with RNA polymerase. Experiments with purified components designed to determine whether these factors act independently or competitively showed that the change in elongation rate was a composite of their individual effects, that the combined effect on termination was dependent on the reaction conditions and that the two factors do not compete for their sites of action for either effect. The two factors were also found not to enhance significantly the slight (20%) inhibition of elongation caused by 200 microM guanosine 3',5'-bisdiphosphate (ppGpp) during transcription in vitro. The results also show that the effects of NusA and NusG on RNA polymerase elongation and Rho function are contrary to the inverse relationship between elongation and termination that is expected for a kinetic coupling of Rho action to RNA polymerase elongation. This property suggests that in addition to their known actions on RNA polymerase that influence the length of pausing, these factors act on some other rate-limiting step of the Rho-dependent termination process.

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