• GE23077 binds to the RNA polymerase 'i' and 'i+1' sites and prevents the binding of initiating nucleotides.

      Zhang, Yu; Degen, David; Ho, Mary X; Sineva, Elena; Ebright, Katherine Y; Ebright, Yon W; Mekler, Vladimir; Vahedian-Movahed, Hanif; Feng, Yu; Yin, Ruiheng; et al. (2014)
      Using a combination of genetic, biochemical, and structural approaches, we show that the cyclic-peptide antibiotic GE23077 (GE) binds directly to the bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) active-center 'i' and 'i+1' nucleotide binding sites, preventing the binding of initiating nucleotides, and thereby preventing transcription initiation. The target-based resistance spectrum for GE is unusually small, reflecting the fact that the GE binding site on RNAP includes residues of the RNAP active center that cannot be substituted without loss of RNAP activity. The GE binding site on RNAP is different from the rifamycin binding site. Accordingly, GE and rifamycins do not exhibit cross-resistance, and GE and a rifamycin can bind simultaneously to RNAP. The GE binding site on RNAP is immediately adjacent to the rifamycin binding site. Accordingly, covalent linkage of GE to a rifamycin provides a bipartite inhibitor having very high potency and very low susceptibility to target-based resistance. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02450.001.
    • Opening and closing of the bacterial RNA polymerase clamp.

      Chakraborty, Anirban; Wang, Dongye; Ebright, Yon W; Korlann, You; Kortkhonjia, Ekaterine; Kim, Taiho; Chowdhury, Saikat; Wigneshweraraj, Sivaramesh; Irschik, Herbert; Jansen, Rolf; et al. (2012-08-03)
      Using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer, we have defined bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) clamp conformation at each step in transcription initiation and elongation. We find that the clamp predominantly is open in free RNAP and early intermediates in transcription initiation but closes upon formation of a catalytically competent transcription initiation complex and remains closed during initial transcription and transcription elongation. We show that four RNAP inhibitors interfere with clamp opening. We propose that clamp opening allows DNA to be loaded into and unwound in the RNAP active-center cleft, that DNA loading and unwinding trigger clamp closure, and that clamp closure accounts for the high stability of initiation complexes and the high stability and processivity of elongation complexes.