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The archaeal basal transcription machinery resembles the core components of the eucaryal RNA polymerase II apparatus. Thus, studies of the archaeal basal machinery over the last few years have shed light on fundamentally conserved aspects of the mechanisms of transcription pre-initiation complex...
Our understanding of the mechanisms of transcription has been greatly advanced by recent determination of the X-ray structure of bacterial RNA polymerase. Using crosslinking approaches, extensive mapping of DNA and RNA contacts onto this structure allowed tracking of the path of nucleic acids...
Nucleoid proteins are a group of abundant DNA binding proteins that modulate the structure of the bacterial chromosome. They have been recruited as specific negative and positive regulators of gene transcription and their fluctuating patterns of expression are often exploited to impart an...
A selection of World Wide Web sites relevant to papers published in this issue of Current Opinion in Microbiology .
Bacterial cell-to-cell communication (quorum sensing) relies upon the interaction of a small diffusible signal molecule with a sensor or transcriptional activator to couple gene expression with cell population density. In Gram-negative bacteria, it is now clear that N -acylhomoserine lactones...
In Escherichia coli , the iron regulator Fur is regulated by two oxidative-stress response regulators. The generation of dangerous radicals by oxygen and iron is the basis for this dual regulation, which is also found in eukaryotes. The binding of iron-regulated transcripts to apo-aconitase and...
Bacterial plasmids deploy a diverse range of regulatory mechanisms to control expression of the functions they need to survive in the host population. Understanding of the mechanisms by which autoregulatory circuits control plasmid survival functions, in particular plasmid replication, has been...
The AraC family of bacterial transcriptional activators regulate diverse genetic systems. Recent X-ray diffraction studies show that the monomeric MarA and Rob activators bind to their asymmetric degenerate DNA sites via two different helix-turn-helix elements. Activation by MarA, SoxS or Rob...
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