Structural insights into the mycobacteria transcription initiation complex from analysis of X-ray crystal structures.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nat Commun, Volume 8, p.16072 (2017)


<p>The mycobacteria RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a target for antimicrobials against tuberculosis, motivating structure/function studies. Here we report a 3.2&thinsp;Å-resolution crystal structure of a Mycobacterium smegmatis (Msm) open promoter complex (RPo), along with structural analysis of the Msm RPo and a previously reported 2.76&thinsp;Å-resolution crystal structure of an Msm transcription initiation complex with a promoter DNA fragment. We observe the interaction of the Msm RNAP α-subunit C-terminal domain (αCTD) with DNA, and we provide evidence that the αCTD may play a role in Mtb transcription regulation. Our results reveal the structure of an Actinobacteria-unique insert of the RNAP β&#39; subunit. Finally, our analysis reveals the disposition of the N-terminal segment of Msm σ(A), which may comprise an intrinsically disordered protein domain unique to mycobacteria. The clade-specific features of the mycobacteria RNAP provide clues to the profound instability of mycobacteria RPo compared with E. coli.</p>