Mechanism of action of DRB. III. Effect on specific in vitro initiation of transcription

Ruben Zandomeni, David Bunick, Steven Ackerman, Barbara Mittleman, Roberto Weinmann, P. Chambon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


5,6-Dichloro-1-β-d-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole, an adenosine analogue, has been used previously as an inhibitor of heterogeneous nuclear and messenger RNA synthesis. In an in vitro transcriptional system, we have detected inhibition of synthesis of full-length runoff RNAs at concentrations at which in vivo mRNA synthesis is inhibited. By hybridization of RNA synthesized in vitro to single-stranded DNA and gel analysis, we were able to reduce the background of the transcription reaction, detect DRB-induced inhibition of full-length runoff RNAs and DRB-insensitive transcription of short RNAs. To establish further the effect of DRB on initiation of transcription, preincubation experiments with template, whole cell extract and two initial nucleotides of the transcript were performed. Elongation was then measured as discrete-sized RNAs transcribed from the truncated template after addition of the other triphosphates (one of them labeled), in the presence or absence of DRB. An effect on initiation but not on elongation or termination was detected. Fingerprint analysis of these runoff RNAs indicates that the labeling of U in the presence of DRB is uniform throughout the molecule. A model to explain a novel interpretation of the action of DRB is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-574
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 5 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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