Mechanism for the Regulated Control of Bacterial Transcription Termination by a Universal Adaptor Protein

Michael R. Lawson, Wen Ma, Michael J. Bellecourt, Irina Artsimovitch, Andreas Martin, Robert Landick, Klaus Schulten, James M Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

NusG/Spt5 proteins are the only transcription factors utilized by all cellular organisms. In enterobacteria, NusG antagonizes the transcription termination activity of Rho, a hexameric helicase, during the synthesis of ribosomal and actively translated mRNAs. Paradoxically, NusG helps Rho act on untranslated transcripts, including non-canonical antisense RNAs and those arising from translational stress; how NusG fulfills these disparate functions is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that NusG activates Rho by assisting helicase isomerization from an open-ring, RNA-loading state to a closed-ring, catalytically active translocase. A crystal structure of closed-ring Rho in complex with NusG reveals the physical basis for this activation and further explains how Rho is excluded from translationally competent RNAs. This study demonstrates how a universally conserved transcription factor acts to modulate the activity of a ring-shaped ATPase motor and establishes how the innate sequence bias of a termination factor can be modulated to silence pervasive, aberrant transcription. Lawson et al. show that NusG, a member of a universally conserved transcription factor family, helps isomerize the Rho transcription termination factor from an open-ring loading state to an active, closed-ring conformation. This action overrides the innate sequence bias of Rho to terminate aberrant transcriptional events emanating from translational stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-922.e4
JournalMolecular Cell
Volume71
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 20 2018

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Transcription Factors
Proteins
RNA
Antisense RNA
Enterobacteriaceae
Adenosine Triphosphatases
Messenger RNA

Keywords

  • ATPase
  • NusG
  • Rho
  • Spt5
  • termination
  • transcription
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Mechanism for the Regulated Control of Bacterial Transcription Termination by a Universal Adaptor Protein. / Lawson, Michael R.; Ma, Wen; Bellecourt, Michael J.; Artsimovitch, Irina; Martin, Andreas; Landick, Robert; Schulten, Klaus; Berger, James M.

In: Molecular Cell, Vol. 71, No. 6, 20.09.2018, p. 911-922.e4.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lawson, MR, Ma, W, Bellecourt, MJ, Artsimovitch, I, Martin, A, Landick, R, Schulten, K & Berger, JM 2018, 'Mechanism for the Regulated Control of Bacterial Transcription Termination by a Universal Adaptor Protein', Molecular Cell, vol. 71, no. 6, pp. 911-922.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.07.014
Lawson MR, Ma W, Bellecourt MJ, Artsimovitch I, Martin A, Landick R et al. Mechanism for the Regulated Control of Bacterial Transcription Termination by a Universal Adaptor Protein. Molecular Cell. 2018 Sep 20;71(6):911-922.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2018.07.014
Lawson, Michael R. ; Ma, Wen ; Bellecourt, Michael J. ; Artsimovitch, Irina ; Martin, Andreas ; Landick, Robert ; Schulten, Klaus ; Berger, James M. / Mechanism for the Regulated Control of Bacterial Transcription Termination by a Universal Adaptor Protein. In: Molecular Cell. 2018 ; Vol. 71, No. 6. pp. 911-922.e4.
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