Varying rate of RNA chain elongation during rrn transcription in Escherichia coli.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Bacteriology, ISSN 0021-9193, E-ISSN 1098-5530, Vol. 191, no 11, 3740-3746 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The value of the rRNA chain elongation rate in bacteria is an important physiological parameter, as it affects not only the rRNA promoter activity but also the free-RNA polymerase concentration and thereby the transcription of all genes. On average, rRNA chains elongate at a rate of 80 to 90 nucleotides (nt) per s, and the transcription of an entire rrn operon takes about 60 s (at 37 degrees C). Here we have analyzed a reported distribution obtained from electron micrographs of RNA polymerase molecules along rrn operons in E. coli growing at 2.5 doublings per hour (S. Quan, N. Zhang, S. French, and C. L. Squires, J. Bacteriol. 187:1632-1638, 2005). The distribution exhibits two peaks of higher polymerase density centered within the 16S and 23S rRNA genes. An evaluation of this distribution indicates that RNA polymerase transcribes the 5' leader region at speeds up to or greater than 250 nt/s. Once past the leader, transcription slows down to about 65 nt/s within the 16S gene, speeds up in the spacer region between the 16S and 23S genes, slows again to about 65 nt/s in the 23S region, and finally speeds up to a rate greater than 400 nt/s near the end of the operon. We suggest that the slowing of transcript elongation in the 16S and 23S sections is the result of transcriptional pauses, possibly caused by temporary interactions of the RNA polymerase with secondary structures in the nascent rRNA.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 191, no 11, 3740-3746 p.
Research subject Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-104047DOI: 10.1128/JB.00128-09ISI: 000266041300035PubMedID: 19329648OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-104047DiVA: diva2:219299