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BACKGROUND Cellular RNA polymerases are highly conserved enzymes that undergo complex conformational changes to coordinate the processing of nucleic acid substrates through the active site. Two domains in particular, the bridge helix and the trigger loop, play a key role in this mechanism by adopting different conformations at various stages of the(More)
Cellular RNA polymerases (RNAPs) are complex molecular machines that combine catalysis with concerted conformational changes in the active center. Previous work showed that kinking of a hinge region near the C-terminus of the Bridge Helix (BH-HC) plays a critical role in controlling the catalytic rate. Here, new evidence for the existence of an additional(More)
The in-depth structure/function analysis of large protein complexes, such as RNA polymerases (RNAPs), requires an experimental platform capable of assembling variants of such enzymes in large numbers in a reproducible manner under defined in vitro conditions. Here we describe a streamlined and integrated protocol for assembling recombinant archaeal RNAPs in(More)
RNAPs (RNA polymerases) are complex molecular machines containing structural domains that co-ordinate the movement of nucleic acid and nucleotide substrates through the catalytic site. X-ray images of bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic RNAPs have provided a wealth of structural detail over the last decade, but many mechanistic features can only be derived(More)
The availability of in vitro assembly systems to produce recombinant archaeal RNA polymerases (RNAPs) offers one of the most powerful experimental tools for investigating the still relatively poorly understood molecular mechanisms underlying RNAP function. Over the last few years, we pioneered new robot-based high-throughput mutagenesis approaches to study(More)
RNAPs (RNA polymerases) are complex molecular machines that contain a highly conserved catalytic site surrounded by conformationally flexible domains. High-throughput mutagenesis in the archaeal model system Methanocaldococcus jannaschii has demonstrated that the nanomechanical properties of one of these domains, the bridge-helix, exert a key regulatory(More)
Transcriptional activation domains (ADs) are generally thought to be intrinsically unstructured, but capable of adopting limited secondary structure upon interaction with a coactivator surface. The indeterminate nature of this interface made it hitherto difficult to study structure/function relationships of such contacts. Here we used atomistic accelerated(More)
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