Regulation of transcription attenuation and translation initiation by allosteric control of an RNA-binding protein: the Bacillus subtilis TRAP protein

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2004 Apr;7(2):132-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2004.02.003.


Tryptophan allosterically controls the 11-subunit trp RNA-binding attenuation protein (TRAP) of Bacillus subtilis. When activated by tryptophan, TRAP binds to multiple trinucleotide repeats in target transcripts. TRAP is responsible for the decision to terminate transcription in the leader region of the trpEDCFBA operon or to allow transcription to proceed into the structural genes. TRAP also regulates translation of trpE by promoting formation of an RNA structure that prevents ribosome binding. In addition, bound TRAP regulates translation initiation of pabA, trpP and ycbK by directly blocking ribosome binding. The anti-TRAP protein inhibits TRAP activity by competing with RNA for the RNA binding surface of TRAP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Regulation
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon, Initiator / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Biosynthesis / genetics*
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Codon, Initiator
  • MtrB protein, Bacteria
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors