Irina Artsimovitch

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The mechanism of substrate loading in multisubunit RNA polymerase is crucial for understanding the general principles of transcription yet remains hotly debated. Here we report the 3.0-A resolution structures of the Thermus thermophilus elongation complex (EC) with a non-hydrolysable substrate analogue, adenosine-5'-[(alpha,beta)-methyleno]-triphosphate(More)
The RNA polymerase elongation complex (EC) is both highly stable and processive, rapidly extending RNA chains for thousands of nucleotides. Understanding the mechanisms of elongation and its regulation requires detailed information about the structural organization of the EC. Here we report the 2.5-A resolution structure of the Thermus thermophilus EC; the(More)
Transcript elongation by RNA polymerase is discontinuous and interrupted by pauses that play key regulatory roles. We show here that two different classes of pause signals punctuate elongation. Class I pauses, discovered in enteric bacteria, depend on interaction of a nascent RNA structure with RNA polymerase to displace the 3' OH away from the catalytic(More)
Bacterial transcription is regulated by the alarmone ppGpp, which binds near the catalytic site of RNA polymerase (RNAP) and modulates its activity. We show that the DksA protein is a crucial component of ppGpp-dependent regulation. The 2.0 A resolution structure of Escherichia coli DksA reveals a globular domain and a coiled coil with two highly conserved(More)
Guanosine-tetraphosphate (ppGpp) is a major regulator of stringent control, an adaptive response of bacteria to amino acid starvation. The 2.7 A resolution structure of the Thermus thermophilus RNA polymerase (RNAP) holoenzyme in complex with ppGpp reveals that ppGpp binds to the same site near the active center in both independent RNAP molecules in the(More)
Modulation of the structure of a leader RNA to control formation of an intrinsic termination signal is a common mechanism for regulation of gene expression in bacteria. Expression of the S box genes in Gram-positive organisms is induced in response to limitation for methionine. We previously postulated that methionine availability is monitored by binding of(More)
Transcription of eukaryotic genes by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is typically accompanied by nucleosome survival and minimal exchange of histones H3 and H4. The mechanism of nucleosome survival and recovery of chromatin structure remains obscure. Here we show how transcription through chromatin by Pol II is uniquely coupled with nucleosome survival.(More)
Rifamycins, the clinically important antibiotics, target bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP). A proposed mechanism in which rifamycins sterically block the extension of nascent RNA beyond three nucleotides does not alone explain why certain RNAP mutations confer resistance to some but not other rifamycins. Here we show that unlike rifampicin and rifapentin, and(More)
Structural studies of antibiotics not only provide a shortcut to medicine allowing for rational structure-based drug design, but may also capture snapshots of dynamic intermediates that become 'frozen' after inhibitor binding. Myxopyronin inhibits bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) by an unknown mechanism. Here we report the structure of dMyx--a desmethyl(More)
Nucleic acid polymerases have evolved elaborate mechanisms that prevent incorporation of the non-cognate substrates, which are distinguished by both the base and the sugar moieties. While the mechanisms of substrate selection have been studied in single-subunit DNA and RNA polymerases (DNAPs and RNAPs, respectively), the determinants of substrate binding in(More)