Theoretical evaluation of transcriptional pausing effect on the attenuation in trp leader sequence

H. Suzuki, T. Kunisawa, J. Otsuka

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of transcriptional pausing on attenuation is investigated theoretically on the basis of the attenuation control mechanism presented by Oxender et al. (Oxender, D. L., G. Zurawski, and C. Yanofsky, 1979, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 76:5524–5528). An extended stochastic model including the RNA polymerase pausing in the leader region is developed to calculate the probability of relative position between the RNA polymerase transcribing the trp leader sequence and the ribosome translating the transcript. The present study results in a new rationale that the transcriptional pausing site in the leader sequence makes the attenuation control both more sensitive as an on/off switch and less sensitive to variations in the concentration of cellular metabolites not connected with the need for expressing, or not expressing, the particular operon. It is also proposed that the transcriptional pausing diminishes the dependence of attenuation control characteristics on the number of nucleotides in the leader sequence. This result may be useful for understanding the attenuation control efficiencies of other amino acid leader sequences with different lengths of nucleotides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1986

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