RNA polymerase: the vehicle of transcription

Sergei Borukhov, Evgeny Nudler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

RNA polymerase (RNAP) is the principal enzyme of gene expression and regulation for all three divisions of life: Eukaryota, Archaea and Bacteria. Recent progress in the structural and biochemical characterization of RNAP illuminates this enzyme as a flexible, multifunctional molecular machine. During each step of the transcription cycle, RNAP undergoes elaborate conformational changes. As many fundamental and previously mysterious aspects of how RNAP works begin to be understood, this enzyme reveals intriguing similarities to man-made engineered devices. These resemblances can be found in the mechanics of RNAP-DNA complex formation, in RNA chain initiation and in the elongation processes. Here we highlight recent advances in understanding RNAP function and regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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