Sensitive detection of bacterial transcription initiation sites and differentiation from RNA processing sites in the pheromone-induced plasmid transfer system of Enterococcus faecalis

Barbara A. Bensing, Barbara J. Meyer, Gary M. Dunny

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131 Scopus citations

Abstract

A method was developed to detect 5' ends of bacterial RNAs expressed at low levels and to differentiate newly initiated transcripts from processed transcripts produced in vivo. The procedure involves use of RNA ligase to link a specific oligoribonucleotide to the 5' ends of cellular RNAs, followed by production of cDNA and amplification of the gene of interest by PCR. The method was used to identify the precise sites of transcription initiation within a 10-kb region of the pheromone-inducible conjugative plasmid pCF10 of Enterococcus faecalis. Results confirmed the 5' end of a very abundant, constitutively produced transcript (from prgQ) that had been mapped previously by primer extension and defined the initiation point of a less abundant, divergently transcribed message (from prgX). The method also showed that the 5' end of a pheromone-inducible transcript (prgB) that had been mapped by primer extension was generated by processing rather than new initiation. In addition, the results provided evidence for two promoters, 3 and 5 kb upstream of prgB, and indicated that only the transcripts originating 5 kb upstream may be capable of extending to prgB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7794-7799
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume93
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 1996

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