We define the target, mechanism, and structural basis of inhibition of bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) by the tetramic acid antibiotic streptolydigin (Stl). Stl binds to a site adjacent to but not overlapping the RNAP active center and stabilizes an RNAP-active-center conformational state with a straight-bridge helix. The results provide direct support for the proposals that alternative straight-bridge-helix and bent-bridge-helix RNAP-active-center conformations exist and that cycling between straight-bridge-helix and bent-bridge-helix RNAP-active-center conformations is required for RNAP function. The results set bounds on models for RNAP function and suggest strategies for design of novel antibacterial agents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology