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Closed Access item Transcription activation and repression by interaction of a regulator with the subunit of RNA polymerase: the model of phage ø29 protein p4

Authors:Rojo, Fernando
Mencía, Mario
Monsalve, María
Salas, Margarita
Issue Date:1998
Publisher:Elsevier
Citation:Progress in Nucleic Acid Research & Molecular Biology 60: 29-46 (1998)
Abstract:Regulatory protein p4, encoded by Bacillus subtilis phage ϕ29, has proved to be a very useful model to analyze the molecular mechanisms of transcription regulation. Protein p4 modulates the transcription of phage ϕ29 genome by activating the late A3 promoter (PA3) and simultaneously repressing the two main early promoters, A2b and A2c (or PA2b and PA2c). This review describes in detail the regulatory mechanism leading to activation or repression, and discusses them in the context of the recent findings on the role of the RNA polymerase a subunit in transcription regulation. Activation of PA3 implies the p4-mediated stabilization of RNA polymerase at the promoter as a closed complex. Repression of the early A2b promoter occurs by binding of protein p4 to a site that partially overlaps the −35 consensus region of the promoter, therefore preventing the binding of RNA polymerase to the promoter. Repression of the A2c promoter, located 96 bp downstream from PA2b, occurs by a different mechanism that implies the simultaneous binding of protein p4 and RNA polymerase to the promoter in such a way that promoter clearance is inhibited. Interestingly, activation of PA3 and repression of PA2c, require an interaction between protein p4 and RNA polymerase, and in both cases this interaction occurs between the same surface of protein p4 and the C-terminal domain of the α subunit of RNA polymerase, which provides new insights into how a protein can activate or repress transcription by subtle variations in the protein-DNA complexes formed at promoters.
Description:PMID: 9594570
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0079-6603(08)60888-0
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/40573
ISSN:0079-6603
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