Transcription attenuation: a highly conserved regulatory strategy used by bacteria

Trends Genet. 2005 May;21(5):260-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2005.03.002.


We employed computational analyses to assess the conservation of sequence elements that are believed to be essential for the various transcription-attenuation (termination) mechanisms that are used to regulate expression of families of orthologous genes in bacteria. We searched the upstream sequence of every predicted transcription unit for a transcription attenuator. These were then clustered by the orthology relationships of the nearby structural genes. Many gene families regulated by transcription attenuation were found to be adjacent to a regulatory region that had a binding site for a specific protein, tRNA or small metabolite. Using our methodology, we predict that at least 80 different clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) are significantly regulated by transcription attenuation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / biosynthesis
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / chemistry*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genes
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Electron Transport Complex IV