Transcription termination factor Rho can displace streptavidin from biotinylated RNA

Abstract : In Escherishia coli, binding of the hexameric Rho protein to naked C-rich Rut (Rho utilization) regions of nascent RNA transcripts initiates Rho-dependent termination of transcription. Although the ring-shaped Rho factor exhibits in vitro RNA-dependent ATPase and directional RNA-DNA helicase activities, the actual molecular mechanisms used by Rho to disrupt the intricate network of interactions that cement the ternary transcription complex remain elusive. Here, we show that Rho is a molecular motor that can apply significant disruptive forces on heterologous nucleoprotein assemblies such as streptavidin bound to biotinylated RNA molecules. ATP-dependent disruption of the biotin-streptavidin interaction demonstrates that Rho is not mechanistically limited to the melting of nucleic acid base pairs within molecular complexes and confirms that specific interactions with the roadblock target are not required for Rho to operate properly. We also show that Rho-induced streptavidin displacement depends significantly on the identity of the biotinylated transcript as well as on the position, nature, and length of the biotin link to the RNA chain. Altogether, our data are consistent with a 'snow-plough' type of mechanism of action whereby an early rearrangement of the Rho-substrate complex (activation) is rate-limiting, physical force (pulling) is exerted on the RNA chain by residues of the central Rho channel, and removal of structural obstacles from the RNA track stems from their non-specific steric exclusion from the hexamer central hole. In this context, a simple model for the regulation of Rho-dependent termination based on the modulation of disruptive dynamic loading by secondary factors is proposed.
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Contributor : Isabelle Frapart <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 3, 2007 - 10:40:04 AM
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Annie Schwartz, Emmanuel Margeat, A. Rachid Rahmouni, Marc Boudvillain. Transcription termination factor Rho can displace streptavidin from biotinylated RNA. Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2007, 282 (43), pp.31469-31476. ⟨10.1074/jbc.M706935200⟩. ⟨hal-00176284⟩



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