Transcriptome-Wide Effects of NusA on RNA Polymerase Pausing in Bacillus subtilis

Oshadhi T. Jayasinghe, Zachary F. Mandell, Alexander V. Yakhnin, Mikhail Kashlev, Paul Babitzke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Transcription elongation is a highly processive process that is punctuated by RNA polymerase (RNAP) pausing. Long-lived pauses can provide time for diverse regulatory events to occur, which play important roles in modulating gene expression. Transcription elongation factors can dramatically affect RNAP pausing in vitro. The genome- wide role of such factors in pausing in vivo has been examined only for NusG in Bacillus subtilis. NusA is another transcription elongation factor known to stimulate pausing of B. subtilis and Escherichia coli RNAP in vitro. Here, we present the first in vivo study to identify the genome-wide role of NusA in RNAP pausing. Using native elongation transcript sequencing followed by RNase digestion (RNET-seq), we analyzed factordependent RNAP pausing in B. subtilis and found that NusA has a relatively minor role in RNAP pausing compared to NusG. We demonstrate that NusA has both stimulating and suppressing effects on pausing in vivo. Based on our thresholding criteria on in vivo data, NusA stimulates pausing at 129 pause peaks in 93 different genes or 59 untranslated regions (59 UTRs). Putative pause hairpins were identified for 87 (67%) of the 129 NusA-stimulated pause peaks, suggesting that RNA hairpins are a common component of NusA-stimulated pause signals. However, a consensus sequence was not identified as a NusA-stimulated pause motif. We further demonstrate that NusA stimulates pausing in vitro at some of the pause sites identified in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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