The Interaction of RNA Polymerase and Lac Repressor With the Lac Control Region

Nucleic Acids Res. 1979 Jan;6(1):111-37. doi: 10.1093/nar/6.1.111.


We have examined the interactions of lac repressor and RNA polymerase with the DNA of the lac control region, using a method for direct visualization of the regions of DNA protected by proteins from DNAase attack. The repressor protects the operator essentially as reported by Gilbert and Maxam (1) with some small modifications. However, the evidence reported here concerning the binding of RNA polymerase to the DNA of the promoter mutant UV5 indicates that : 1) the RNA polymerase molecule binds asymmetrically to the promoter DNA, 2) RNA polymerase protects DNA sequences to within a few bases of the CAP binding site, suggesting direct interaction between polymerase and the CAP protein at this site, 3) RNA polymerase still binds to the promoter when repressor is bound to the operator, but fails to form the same extensive complex.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Bacterial* / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Lac Operon*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases