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Multiple personalities of the RNA polymerase active centre

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nikolay ZenkinORCiD


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Transcription in all living organisms is accomplished by highly conserved multi-subunit RNA polymerases (RNAPs). Our understanding of the functioning of the active centre of RNAPs has transformed recently with the finding that a conserved flexible domain near the active centre, the trigger loop (TL), participates directly in the catalysis of RNA synthesis and serves as a major determinant for fidelity of transcription. It also appears that the TL is involved in the unique ability of RNAPs to exchange catalytic activities of the active centre. In this phenomenon the TL is replaced by a transcription factor which changes the amino acid content and, as a result, the catalytic properties of the active centre. The existence of a number of transcription factors that act through substitution of the TL suggests that the RNAP has several different active centres to choose from in response to external or internal signals.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zenkin N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Microbiology

Year: 2014

Volume: 160

Pages: 1316-1320

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Online publication date: 24/04/2014

Acceptance date: 17/04/2014

ISSN (print): 1350-0872

ISSN (electronic): 1465-2080

Publisher: Society for General Microbiology


DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.079020-0


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