Leonid Minakhin

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The X-ray crystal structure of Thermus aquaticus core RNA polymerase reveals a "crab claw"-shaped molecule with a 27 A wide internal channel. Located on the back wall of the channel is a Mg2+ ion required for catalytic activity, which is chelated by an absolutely conserved motif from all bacterial and eukaryotic cellular RNA polymerases. The structure(More)
Microbial CRISPR-Cas systems are divided into Class 1, with multisubunit effector complexes, and Class 2, with single protein effectors. Currently, only two Class 2 effectors, Cas9 and Cpf1, are known. We describe here three distinct Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems. The effectors of two of the identified systems, C2c1 and C2c3, contain RuvC-like endonuclease(More)
The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated genes (Cas) adaptive immune system defends microbes against foreign genetic elements via DNA or RNA-DNA interference. We characterize the class 2 type VI CRISPR-Cas effector C2c2 and demonstrate its RNA-guided ribonuclease function. C2c2 from the bacterium Leptotrichia(More)
Bacterial DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP) has subunit composition beta'betaalpha(I)alpha(II)omega. The role of omega has been unclear. We show that omega is homologous in sequence and structure to RPB6, an essential subunit shared in eukaryotic RNAP I, II, and III. In Escherichia coli, overproduction of omega suppresses the assembly defect caused by(More)
A total of 29 mercury resistance transposons were isolated from mercury-resistant environmental strains of proteobacteria collected in different parts of Eurasia and the USA and tested for hybridization with probes specific for transposase genes of known mercury resistance transposons. 9 were related to Tn21 in this test, 12 were related to Tn5053, 4 to(More)
Horizontal dissemination of the genes responsible for resistance to toxic pollutants may play a key role in the adaptation of bacterial populations to environmental contaminants. However, the frequency and extent of gene dissemination in natural environments is not known. A natural horizontal spread of two distinct mercury resistance (mer) operon variants,(More)
UNLABELLED Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophage ϕKZ is the type representative of the giant phage genus, which is characterized by unusually large virions and genomes. By unraveling the transcriptional map of the ∼ 280-kb ϕKZ genome to single-nucleotide resolution, we combine 369 ϕKZ genes into 134 operons. Early transcription is initiated from highly(More)
In bacteria, promoter recognition depends on the RNA polymerase sigma subunit, which combines with the catalytically proficient RNA polymerase core to form the holoenzyme. The major class of bacterial promoters is defined by two conserved elements (the -10 and -35 elements, which are 10 and 35 nucleotides upstream of the initiation point, respectively) that(More)
The sigma-subunit of bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) is required for promoter-specific transcription initiation. This function depends on specific intersubunit interactions that occur when sigma associates with the RNAP core enzyme to form RNAP holoenzyme. Among these interactions, that between conserved region 4 of sigma and the flap domain of the RNAP(More)
We have studied the mechanisms of the horizontal dissemination of a broad-spectrum mercury resistance determinant among Bacillus and related species. This mer determinant was first described in Bacillus cereus RC607 from Boston Harbor, USA, and was then found in various Bacillus and related species in Japan, Russia and England. We have shown that the mer(More)