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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

The bridge helix coordinates movements of modules in RNA polymerase

Pyae P Hein1 and Robert Landick12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 5441 Microbial Sciences, 1550 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA

2 Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 5441 Microbial Sciences, 1550 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA

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BMC Biology 2010, 8:141  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-141

Published: 29 November 2010

Abstract

The RNA polymerase 'bridge helix' is a metastable α-helix that spans the leading edge of the enzyme active-site cleft. A new study published in BMC Biology reveals surprising tolerance to helix-disrupting changes in a region previously thought crucial for translocation, and suggests roles for two hinge-like segments of the bridge helix in coordinating modules that move during the nucleotide-addition cycle.

See Research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/134 webcite