Jeff Gelles, Brandeis University
Host: Peng Chen
A hitchhiker’s guide: How proteins collaborate to regulate transcription
Purified RNA polymerases in isolation can transcribe DNA. In cells, however, messenger RNAs are not made by RNA polymerases alone. Instead, the formation and function of transcription complexes in all organisms are modulated by general transcription factors that that interact with RNA polymerase, DNA, and the nascent transcript. I will describe multi-wavelength single-molecule fluorescence experiments that reveal the mechanisms by which multiple proteins collaborate to control transcription in bacteria. These studies demonstrate kinetically-controlled programming of the activities of transcription initiation and elongation complexes by dynamic association and release of transcription factors and reveal an alternative transcription cycle for bacterial RNA polymerase.
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