Transcription elongation is surprisingly complex. An elongating polymerase can slide back and forth along its template, altering the structure and activity of the elongation complex as it does so. In addition, a single polymerase molecule can transcribe at different rates, spontaneously switching from slow to fast and vice versa. Elongation rate, elongation factors and covalent modification all affect the tendency of the polymerase to pause or terminate at regulatory sequences. A recent study adds a novel twist to this tale of gene regulation at the level of transcriptional elongation by suggesting that RNA polymerase is allosterically controlled by nucleotide triphosphates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology