Loading Rho to terminate transcription

Cell. 2003 Jul 25;114(2):157-9. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(03)00554-3.


In bacteria, one of the major transcriptional termination mechanisms requires a hexameric RNA/DNA helicase known as Rho. One question that has remained unanswered is how the helicase loads onto a nascent transcript so that it can initiate actions on the transcript to cause termination. Recent structures of Rho bound to nucleic acid by show how the individual RNA-binding domains of the 6 subunits are organized and that the ring is split open. The opening is wide enough to accommodate single-stranded RNA and suggests that this conformation is poised to load onto mRNA.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA Helicases / genetics
  • RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rho Factor / chemistry
  • Rho Factor / genetics*
  • Rho Factor / metabolism
  • Terminator Regions, Genetic
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rho Factor
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • RNA Helicases