RNA polymerase and the ribosome: the close relationship

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2013 Apr;16(2):112-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2013.01.010. Epub 2013 Feb 22.


In bacteria transcription and translation are linked in time and space. When coupled to RNA polymerase (RNAP), the translating ribosome ensures transcriptional processivity by preventing RNAP backtracking. Recent advances in the field have characterized important linker proteins that bridge the gap between transcription and translation: In particular, the NusE(S10):NusG complex and the NusG homolog, RfaH. The direct link between the moving ribosome and RNAP provides a basis for maintaining genomic integrity while enabling efficient transcription and timely translation of various genes within the bacterial cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases