Apr 14, 2015

Crystal structures of the E. coli transcription initiation complexes with a complete bubble

Molecular Cell
Yuhong Zuo, Thomas A Steitz


During transcription initiation, RNA polymerase binds to promoter DNA to form an initiation complex containing a DNA bubble and enters into abortive cycles of RNA synthesis before escaping the promoter to transit into the elongation phase for processive RNA synthesis. Here we present the crystal structures of E. coli transcription initiation complexes containing a complete transcription bubble and de novo synthesized RNA oligonucleotides at about 6-Å resolution. The structures show how RNA polymerase recognizes DNA promoters that contain spacers of different lengths and reveal a bridging interaction between the 5'-triphosphate of the nascent RNA and the σ factor that may function to stabilize the short RNA-DNA hybrids during the early stage of transcription initiation. The conformation of the RNA oligonucleotides and the paths of the DNA strands in the complete initiation complexes provide insights into the mechanism that controls both the abortive and productive RNA synthesis.

Mentioned in this Paper

RNA Aptamers
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
RNA Chemical Synthesis
DNA-Directed RNA Polymerase
RNA Polymerase Assembly Pathway
Transcription Initiation, Genetic
Complex (molecular entity)
Transcription, Genetic
Tertiary Protein Structure

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.