Comprehensive transcription terminator atlas for Bacillus subtilis

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7 Scopus citations


The transcriptome-wide contributions of Rho-dependent and intrinsic (Rho-independent) transcription termination mechanisms in bacteria are unclear. By sequencing released transcripts in a wild-type strain and strains containing deficiencies in NusA, NusG and/or Rho (10 strains), we produced an atlas of terminators for the model Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. We found that NusA and NusG stimulate 77% and 19% of all intrinsic terminators, respectively, and that both proteins participate in Rho-dependent termination. We also show that Rho stimulates termination at 10% of the intrinsic terminators in vivo. We recapitulated Rho-stimulated intrinsic termination at 5 terminators in vitro and found that Rho requires the KOW domain of NusG to stimulate this process at one of these terminators. Computational analyses of our atlas using RNAstructure, MEME suite and DiffLogo, combined with in vitro transcription experiments, revealed that Rho stimulates intrinsic terminators with weak hairpins and/or U-rich tracts by remodelling the RNA upstream of the intrinsic terminator to prevent the formation of RNA structures that could otherwise compete with the terminator hairpin. We also identified 56 putative examples of ‘hybrid Rho-dependent termination’, wherein classical Rho-dependent termination occurs after readthrough of a Rho-stimulated intrinsic terminator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1918-1931
Number of pages14
JournalNature Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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