Thomas Library

Honors Thesis Archive

Author Brian R. Mann
Title The Omega Subunit of RNA Polymerase: Identification and Regulation of the rpoZ Promoter in Escherichia coli
Department Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Advisor Margaret Goodman
Year 2010
Honors University Honors
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Abstract The omega subunit (ω) is one of five proteins in bacterial RNA polymerase: α1, α2, β, β', and ω. Omega is transcribed from the rpoZ gene in the spoT operon, but little is known about the ω promoter region or the exact start site of rpoZ transcription in Escherichia coli. Previous S1 nuclease mapping of the rpoZ intergenic region identified a possible ω promoter that was found to have surprisingly low activity by the Gourse lab. Reanalysis of the rpoZ intergenic region in vivo and in vitro via primer extension identified an alternative promoter but no obvious -10 or -35 hexamer. Another possibility is that part of rpoZ expression is the result of read-through from the upstream gmk gene. Mapping of the gmk intergenic region by primer extension identified start sites at five possible positions. Future analyses of the ω subunit will confirm the sequences of the rpoZ and gmk promoters and assess the associated transcriptional regulation.

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