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Accession IconGSE22207

Identification of promoter sequence elements involved in specific recognition by the S subunit of bacterial RNA polymerase.

Organism Icon Escherichia coli str. k-12 substr. mg1655
Sample Icon 4 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix E. coli Genome 2.0 Array (ecoli2)

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Promoter recognition by bacterial RNA polymerase is mediated by subunits, which assemble transiently to RNA polymerase core enzyme (E) during transcription initiation. subunits drive transcription of specific sets of genes by allowing RNA polymerase to interact with different promoter sequences. However, 70, the housekeeping subunit, and S, an alternative subunit mainly active during slow growth and in response to cellular stresses, appear to recognize almost identical promoter sequences, raising the question of how promoter selectivity is achieved in the bacterial cell. To identify sequence determinants for selective promoter recognition, we performed a run-off/microarray experiment (ROMA): in vitro transcription experiments were carried out with RNA polymerase saturated either with 70 (E70) or with S (ES) using the whole Escherichia coli genome as DNA template, and transcript levels were determined by microarray analysis. We found that several genes associated with bacterial growth (e.g., ribosomal operons) were transcribed more efficiently by E70. In contrast, ES transcribed preferentially genes involved in stress responses, secondary metabolism, as well as regulatory RNAs and intergenic regions with yet unknown function. Genes preferentially recognized in vitro by ES showed reduced expression in ES -deficient mutant strain of E. coli. Sequence comparison of E70- versus ES dependent promoters confirms that the presence of a -35 sequence and the relative location of UP elements affect promoter interaction with either form of RNA polymerase, and suggests that a G/C bias in the -2/+1 nucleotides would favour efficient promoter recognition by E70.
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