NusA contacts nascent RNA in Escherichia coli transcription complexes

Kebin Liu, Michelle M. Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We have examined the interaction between NusA and the nascent RNA in Escherichia coli transcription complexes on four different templates. Photocrosslinking CTP and UTP analogs were incorporated internally and at the 3′ end of the RNA. Identical templates with and without boxA sequences were compared. We found that NusA did not contact the ten nucleotides nearest to the 3′ end of the RNA in complexes containing RNA up to 20 nucleotides long. Longer RNA did crosslink to NusA with all four templates examined, however. We reported that RNA 80 nucleotides long from the bacteriophage T7 A1 promoter substituted in two RNA stem-loops with photocrosslinking UMP analogs did not crosslink to NusA, even though interaction between NusA and the transcription complex were demonstrated. Here, we report that when this same RNA is substituted at CMP residues, it does crosslink to NusA. Templates containing the E. coli ribosomal RNA promoter rrnG P2, with and without a boxA sequence downstream, were compared. Long RNAs from both crosslinked to NusA, and thus boxA RNA sequences are not required for interaction with NusA. NusA did not interact with the free RNA containing boxA once released from the transcription complex, nor did it interact with RNA in a binary complex containing only RNA polymerase and RNA, without the DNA template.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-558
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 7 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Nucleotide analogs
  • NusA
  • Photocrosslinking
  • RNA polymerase
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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