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The COOH-terminal domain of the RNA polymerase alpha subunit in transcriptional enhancement and deactivation at the bacteriophage T4 late promoter.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of biological chemistry
Publication Date
Volume
270
Issue
26
Pages
15899–15907
Identifiers
PMID: 7797594
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Many activator proteins generate their positive control of transcription through interactions with the COOH-terminal domain of the Escherichia coli RNA polymerase alpha subunit. We have examined the participation of this alpha-domain in transcriptional enhancement and suppression at bacteriophage T4 late promoters. Enhancement is generated by the T4 gene 45 protein, which is the DNA-tracking processivity factor of viral DNA replication; suppression of unenhanced transcription is generated by the RNA polymerase-binding co-activator T4 gene 33 protein. Enhanced and unenhanced transcription by RNA polymerase reconstituted with intact and truncated alpha subunits and by RNA polymerase containing ADP-ribosylated alpha has been compared; the internal structures of transcription complexes formed with these RNA polymerases have also been analyzed by footprinting and photocross-linking. Comparison of these structural and functional analyses suggests that enhancement of T4 late transcription by gp45 is not compatible with any significant role of the COOH-terminal domain of the RNA polymerase core alpha subunit in transcriptional initiation. Suppression of unenhanced T4 late transcription by the gene 33 protein also does not require the COOH-terminal domain of alpha.

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