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Mutations affecting two adjacent amino acid residues in the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase block transcriptional activation by the bacteriophage P2 Ogr protein.

By D J Ayers, M G Sunshine, E W Six and G E Christie


The bacteriophage P2 ogr gene product is a positive regulator of transcription from P2 late promoters. The ogr gene was originally defined by compensatory mutations that overcame the block to P2 growth imposed by a host mutation, rpoA109, in the gene encoding the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase. DNA sequence analysis has confirmed that this mutation affects the C-terminal region of the alpha subunit, changing a leucine residue at position 290 to a histidine (rpoAL290H). We have employed a reporter plasmid system to screen other, previously described, rpoA mutants for effects on activation of a P2 late promoter and have identified a second allele, rpoA155, that blocks P2 late transcription. This mutation lies just upstream of rpoAL290H, changing the leucine residue at position 289 to a phenylalanine (rpoAL289F). The effect of the rpoAL289F mutation is not suppressed by the rpoAL290H-compensatory P2 ogr mutation. P2 ogr mutants that overcome the block imposed by rpoAL289F were isolated and characterized. Our results are consistent with a direct interaction between Ogr and the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase and support a model in which transcription factor contact sites within the C terminus of alpha are discrete and tightly clustered

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.176.24.7430-7438.1994
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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