The gene, which encodes phospholipase C (α-toxin) of possesses three poly(A) tracts forming an intrinsically curved DNA region immediately upstream of the promoter. The transcriptional activity of the plasmid-borne gene was stimulated by this curved-DNA-containing sequence, depending on its proper linear and rotational orientation. The transcriptional activity of the gene was also stimulated by the upstream sequence. In addition, the stimulatory effect of the sequence and the degree of DNA bending were greater at lower temperature, as was demonstrated by both and transcription assays, and a gel-mobility assay, respectively. A similar temperature effect was also observed with the chromosomal gene. These observations suggest that the upstream DNA curvature stimulates the initiation of transcription of the gene, possibly through direct contact with RNA polymerase.


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