Determination of intrinsic transcription termination efficiency by RNA polymerase elongation rate

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Science  04 Nov 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5186, pp. 822-825
DOI: 10.1126/science.7526463


Transcription terminators recognized by several RNA polymerases include a DNA segment encoding uridine-rich RNA and, for bacterial RNA polymerase, a hairpin loop located immediately upstream. Here, mutationally altered Escherichia coli RNA polymerase enzymes that have different termination efficiencies were used to show that the extent of transcription through the uridine-rich encoding segment is controlled by the substrate concentration of nucleoside triphosphate. This result implies that the rate of elongation determines the probability of transcript release. Moreover, the position of release sites suggests an important spatial relation between the RNA hairpin and the boundary of the terminator.