1887

Abstract

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.

A video of this Prize Lecture, presented at the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference 2014, can be viewed via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Z7iXVEPo4

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • European Research Council
  • Wellcome Trust Investigator Award
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2014-07-01
2022-01-26
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