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Methodology for the analysis of transcription and translation in transcription-coupled-to-translation systems in vitro

Castro-Roa, Daniel, Zenkin, Nikolay
Methods 2015 v.86 pp. 51-59
DNA-directed RNA polymerase, gene expression, nucleic acids, ribosomes, transcription (genetics), translation (genetics)
The various properties of RNA polymerase (RNAP) complexes with nucleic acids during different stages of transcription involve various types of regulation and different cross-talk with other cellular entities and with fellow RNAP molecules. The interactions of transcriptional apparatus with the translational machinery have been focused mainly in terms of outcomes of gene expression, whereas the study of the physical interaction of the ribosome and the RNAP remains obscure partly due to the lack of a system that allows such observations. In this article we will describe the methodology needed to set up a pure, transcription-coupled-to-translation system in which the translocation of the ribosome can be performed in a step-wise manner towards RNAP allowing investigation of the interactions between the two machineries at colliding and non-colliding distances. In the same time RNAP can be put in various types of states, such as paused, roadblocked, backtracked, etc. The experimental system thus allows studying the effects of the ribosome on different aspects of transcription elongation and the effects by RNAP on translation.