January 2019: General Regulatory Factors: guardians of transcription fidelity

What is a transcription factor? Classical biology tells us that a transcription factor binds to a promoter and activates (or represses) gene expression by promoting (or inhibiting) the initiation of transcription. What about transcription factors that activates gene expression by inhibiting initiation?

As in a literary text, a string of characters do not make a story if punctuation marks and conventions do not tell where to start reading and in which direction. In a recent study published in Molecular Cell, the team of D. Libri, Institut Jacques Monod, shows that Rap1 and other transcription factors called General Regulatory Factors prevent transcription to initiate from inappropriate sites. They function as “guardians” of gene expression fidelity by telling the RNA polymerase where to start transcribing and in which direction.

  • To know more: General Regulatory Factors: guardians of transcription fidelity
    Challal, D., Barucco, M., Kubik, S., Feuerbach, F., Candelli, T., Geoffroy, H., Benaksas, C., Shore, D., and Libri, D. (2018). General Regulatory Factors Control the Fidelity of Transcription by Restricting Non-coding and Ectopic Initiation. Mol. Cell 72, 955-969.e7

Contact : Domenico Libri, team "Metabolism and Functions of RNA in the Nucleus".

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