ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0548.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: promoter sequences; repetitive sequences; pausing; abortive initiation; RNA polymerase; dsDNA rigidity
Online: 25 August 2020 (11:28:21 CEST)
In the process of transcription initiation by RNA polymerase, promoter DNA sequences affect multiple reaction pathways determining the productivity of transcription. However, the question of how the molecular mechanism of transcription initiation depends on sequence properties of promoter DNA remains poorly understood. Here, combining the statistical mechanical approach with high-throughput sequencing results, we characterize abortive transcription and pausing during transcription initiation by Escherichia coli RNA polymerase at a genome-wide level. Our results suggest that initially transcribed sequences enriched with thymine bases represent the signal inducing abortive transcription. On the other hand, certain repetitive sequence elements broadly embedded in promoter regions constitute the signal inducing pausing. Both signals decrease the productivity of transcription initiation. Based on solution NMR and in vitro transcription measurements, we also suggest that repetitive sequence elements of promoter DNA modulate the rigidity of its double-stranded form, which profoundly influences the reaction coordinates of the productive initiation via pausing.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0172.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: amebae viruses; viral evolution; protein domains; mimivirus; dsDNA viruses; translation machinery; pandoravirus; NCLDV
Online: 15 April 2019 (12:50:03 CEST)
Viruses are the most prevalent infectious agents, populating almost every ecosystem on earth. Most viruses carry only a handful of genes supporting their replication and the production of capsids. It came as a great surprise in 2003 when the first giant virus was discovered and found to have a >1Mbp genome encoding almost a thousand proteins. Following this first discovery, dozens of giant virus strains across several viral families have been reported. Here, we provide an updated quantitative and qualitative view on giant viruses and elaborate on their shared and variable features. We review the complexity of giant virus proteomes, which include functions traditionally associated only with cellular organisms. These unprecedented functions include components of the translation machinery, DNA maintenance, and metabolic enzymes. We discuss the possible underlying evolutionary processes and mechanisms that might have shaped the diversity of giant viruses and their genomes, highlighting their remarkable capacity to hijack genes and genomic sequences from their hosts and environments. This leads us to examine prominent theories regarding the origin of giant viruses. Finally, we present the emerging ecological view of giant viruses, found across widespread habitats and ecological systems, with respect to the environment and human health.