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The enigmatic role of Mfd in replication-transcription conflicts in bacteria

Authors
  • Ragheb, Mark1
  • Merrikh, Houra2, 3
  • 1 Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program and Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 2 Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 37205, USA
  • 3 Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA
Type
Published Article
Journal
DNA Repair
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2019
Volume
81
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2019.102659
PMID: 31311770
PMCID: PMC6892258
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Conflicts between replication and transcription can have life-threatening consequences. RNA polymerase (RNAP) is the major impediment to replication progression, and its efficient removal from DNA should mitigate the consequences of collisions with replication. Cells have various proteins that can resolve conflicts by removing stalled (or actively translocating) RNAP from DNA. It would therefore seem logical that RNAP-associated factors, such as the bacterial DNA translocase Mfd, would minimize the effects of conflicts. Despite seemingly conclusive statements in most textbooks, the role of Mfd in conflicts remains an enigma. In this review, we will discuss the different physical states of RNAP during transcription, and how each distinct state can influence conflict severity and potentially trigger the involvement of Mfd. We propose models to explain the contradictory conclusions from published studies on the potential role of Mfd in resolving conflicts.

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