Single crystals of a chimeric T7/T3 RNA polymerase with T3 promoter specificity and a nonprocessive T7 RNAP mutant

Rui J Sousa, Y. J. Chung, W. T. McAllister, B. C. Wang, E. M. Lafer

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8 Scopus citations


Two RNA polymerases homologous to bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase, bacteriophage Sp6 and T3 RNA polymerases, were screened for crystallization under conditions identical or similar to those reported for the growth of large single crystals of T7 RNA polymerase (Sousa, R., Rose, J. P., Chung, Y. J., Lafer, E. M., and Wang, B.-C. (1989) Proteins 5, 266; Sousa, R., Lafer, E. M., and Wang, B.-C. (1990) J. Crystal Growth, in press; Sousa, R., and Lafer, E. M. (1990) Methods 1, in press). A number of mutant T7 RNAPs were also screened under these conditions as were three chimeric RNA polymerases consisting of T7 RNAP N-terminal and T3 RNAP C-terminal sequences. One chimeric polymerase and two mutant polymerases crystallized readily under T7 RNAP crystallization conditions. The chimeric polymerase crystallized in a space group different from T7 RNA polymerase: orthorombic with unit cell parameters a = 75 Å, b = 98 Å, c = 159 Å; space group P212121 and 4 molecules/unit cell. This chimeric enzyme exhibits T3 promoter specificity and will make it possible to investigate how structural differences between the T3 and T7 RNA polymerase promoter recognition domains determine their different promoter specificities. One of the mutant polymerases successfully crystallized was an enzyme which can carry out promoter recognition and abortive transcription but cannot carry out processive transcription. Its structure may provide information on the nature of the conformational changes undergone by T7 RNAP in the abortive-processive switch. Crystals of the second mutant T7 RNA polymerase were unsuitable for x-ray analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21430-21432
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
StatePublished - Dec 15 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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