Distinct pathways of RNA polymerase regulation by a phage-encoded factor

Daria Esyuninaa, Evgeny Klimuka, Konstantin Severinova, Andrey Kulbachinskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Transcription antitermination is a common strategy of gene expression regulation, but only a few transcription antitermination factors have been studied in detail. Here, we dissect the transcription antitermination mechanism of Xanthomonas oryzae virus Xp10 protein p7, which binds host RNA polymerase (RNAP) and regulates both transcription initiation and termination. We show that p7 suppresses intrinsic termination by decreasing RNAP pausing and increasing the transcription complex stability, in cooperation with host-encoded factor NusA. Uniquely, the antitermination activity of p7 depends on the ωsubunit of the RNAP core and is modulated by ppGpp. In contrast, the inhibition of transcription initiation by p7 does not require ωbut depends on other RNAP sites. Our results suggest that p7, a bifunctional transcription factor, uses distinct mechanisms to control different steps of transcription. We propose that regulatory functions of the uω subunit revealed by our analysis may extend to its homologs in eukaryotic RNAPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2017-2022
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • NusA
  • Omega subunit
  • RNA polymerase
  • Transcription antitermination
  • Transcription pausing


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