Promoter occlusion during ribosomal RNA transcription

Cell. 1988 Sep 23;54(7):985-92. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90113-4.


The ability of RNA polymerase I to read through a promoter-bound transcription initiation factor (TIF) was assessed using a dimeric ribosomal RNA gene promoter. Transcription from the upstream promoter is unaffected by TIF bound to the downstream promoter; RNA polymerase I is freely able to read through DNA-bound TIF. In contrast, transcription from the downstream promoter is inhibited by the passage of RNA polymerase I. Readthrough by RNA polymerase I disrupts the downstream TIF-DNA complex, and alters the TIF footprint. A general function for sequences leading to transcription termination upstream of rRNA or other promoters may be the prevention of promoter occlusion in tandem arrays of genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • RNA Polymerase I / physiology*
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA Polymerase I
  • Deoxyribonuclease I