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RNA chain elongation is a highly processive and accurate process that is finely regulated by numerous intrinsic and extrinsic signals. Here we describe a general mechanism that governs RNA polymerase (RNAP) movement and response to regulatory inputs such as pauses, terminators, and elongation factors. We show that E.coli RNAP moves by a complex Brownian(More)
Transcription elongation is responsible for rapid synthesis of RNA chains of thousands of nucleotides in vivo. In contrast, a single round of transcription performed in vitro is frequently interrupted by pauses and arrests that drastically reduce the elongation rate and the yield of the full-length transcript. Here we demonstrate that most transcriptional(More)
Frequent codirectional collisions between the replisome and RNA polymerase (RNAP) are inevitable because the rate of replication is much faster than that of transcription. Here we show that, in E. coli, the outcome of such collisions depends on the productive state of transcription elongation complexes (ECs). Codirectional collisions with backtracked(More)
Many operons in Gram-positive bacteria that are involved in methionine (Met) and cysteine (Cys) biosynthesis possess an evolutionarily conserved regulatory leader sequence (S-box) that positively controls these genes in response to methionine starvation. Here, we demonstrate that a feed-back regulation mechanism utilizes S-adenosyl-methionine as an(More)
During transcription, cellular RNA polymerases (RNAP) have to deal with numerous potential roadblocks imposed by various DNA binding proteins. Many such proteins partially or completely interrupt a single round of RNA chain elongation in vitro. Here we demonstrate that Escherichia coli RNAP can effectively read through the site-specific DNA-binding proteins(More)
UvrD helicase is required for nucleotide excision repair, although its role in this process is not well defined. Here we show that Escherichia coli UvrD binds RNA polymerase during transcription elongation and, using its helicase/translocase activity, forces RNA polymerase to slide backward along DNA. By inducing backtracking, UvrD exposes DNA lesions(More)
A mutation in the conserved segment of the rpoC gene, which codes for the largest RNA polymerase (RNAP) subunit, beta', was found to make Escherichia coli cells resistant to microcin J25 (MccJ25), a bactericidal 21-amino acid peptide active against Gram-negative bacteria (Delgado, M. A., Rintoul, M. R., Farias, R. N., and Salomon, R. A. (2001) J. Bacteriol.(More)
We present a statistical mechanics approach for the prediction of backtracked pauses in bacterial transcription elongation derived from structural models of the transcription elongation complex (EC). Our algorithm is based on the thermodynamic stability of the EC along the DNA template calculated from the sequence-dependent free energy of DNA-DNA, DNA-RNA,(More)
Rho is the essential RNA helicase that sets the borders between transcription units and adjusts transcriptional yield to translational needs in bacteria. Although Rho was the first termination factor to be discovered, the actual mechanism by which it reaches and disrupts the elongation complex (EC) is unknown. Here we show that the termination-committed Rho(More)
Transcription termination signals in bacteria occur in RNA as a strong hairpin followed by a stretch of U residues at the 3' terminus. To release the transcript, RNA polymerase (RNAP) is thought to translocate forward without RNA synthesis. Here we provide genetic and biochemical evidence supporting an alternative model in which extensive conformational(More)