RNAP Lab News

The Elongation-first hypothesis

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Finn Werner and Dina Grohmann from the RNAP laboratory at UCL SMB have developed a novel theory on the evolution of transcription regulation – the ‘elongation first hypothesis’ 1. By studying the structure and function of the engine of transcription, RNA polymerase (RNAP), and the factors that orchestrate its activities they conclude that the ancestral RNAP of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all extant life was regulated during the elongation phase of the transcription cycle. This theory represents a paradigm shift in the field since according to textbook dogma RNAP - and thereby gene expression - is principally controlled at the level of transcription initiation

Novel mechanisms of transcription inititiation and elongation factors

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Initiation and Evolution Factors

Dina Grohmann and Finn Werner have discovered a novel mechanism by which basal transcription factors compete for the binding to RNA polymerase (RNAP) during the transcription cycle. This work identifies a flexible module of the RNAP called the clamp as valuable real estate for factor function.

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