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Wurm, R, Neusser, T and Wagner, R 6S RNA-dependent inhibition of RNA polymerase is released by RNA-dependent synthesis of small de novo products. Biol. Chem. 391:187-96


6S RNA from Escherichia coli is known to bind to RNA polymerase, preventing interaction with many promoters during stationary growth. The resulting repression is released under conditions of nutritional upshift, when the growth situation improves. 6S RNA, which binds to the active site of RNA polymerase, has the particularly interesting feature to act as a template, causing the transcription of defined de novo RNAs (dnRNA) that are complementary to a specific sequence region of the 6S RNA. We analyzed the conditions of dnRNA synthesis and determined their effect on the 6S RNA-mediated inhibition of RNA polymerase in vitro and in vivo. Upon nutritional upshift the RNA polymerase/6S RNA complex induces the rapid synthesis of dnRNAs, which form stable hybrids with the 6S RNA template. The resulting structural change destabilizes the inactivated RNA polymerase complex, causing sigma subunit release. Both dnRNA and 6S RNA are rapidly degraded after complex disintegration. Experiments using the transcriptional inhibitor rifampicin demonstrate that active transcription is required for the disintegration of the RNA polymerase/6S RNA complex. Our results support the conclusion that 6S RNA not only inhibits transcription during stationary growth but also enables cells to resume rapid growth after starvation and help to escape from stationary phase.


PubMed Online version:10.1515/BC.2010.018


Base Sequence; Binding Sites; DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/chemistry; DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism; Molecular Sequence Data; Nucleic Acid Conformation; RNA, Bacterial/chemistry; RNA, Bacterial/metabolism; RNA, Complementary/biosynthesis; RNA, Complementary/chemistry; RNA, Complementary/metabolism; Transcription, Genetic


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