Streptomyces telomeres contain a promoter

Yuh-Ru Lin, Mi-Young Hahn, Jung-Hye Roe, Tzu-Wen Huang, H.-H. Tsai, Y.-F. Lin, T.-S. Su, Y.-J. Chan, C.W. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Bidirectional replication of the linear chromosomes and plasmids of Streptomyces spp. results in single-strand overhangs at their 3′ ends, which contain extensive complex palindromic sequences. The overhangs are believed to be patched by DNA synthesis primed by a terminal protein that remains covalently bound to the 5′ ends of the telomeres. We discovered that in vitro a conserved 167-bp telomere DNA binds strongly to RNA polymerase holoenzyme and exhibits promoter activities stronger than those of an rRNA operon. In vivo, the telomere DNA exhibited promoter activity in both orientations on a circular plasmid in Streptomyces. The telomere promoter is also active on a linear plasmid during exponential growth. Such promoter activity in a telomere has not hitherto been observed in eukaryotic or prokaryotic replicons. Streptomyces telomere promoters may be involved in priming the terminal Okazaki fragment (during replication) replicative transfer (during conjugation), or expression of downstream genes (including a conserved ttrA helicase-like gene involved in conjugal transfer). Interestingly, the Streptomyces telomeres also function as a promoter in Escherichia coli and as a transcription enhancer in yeast. Copyright © 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Right Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-781
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA
  • helicase
  • holoenzyme
  • Okazaki fragment
  • ribosome RNA
  • RNA polymerase
  • DNA directed RNA polymerase
  • article
  • bacterium conjugation
  • controlled study
  • DNA binding
  • downstream processing
  • enhancer region
  • Escherichia coli
  • eukaryote
  • gene activity
  • gene expression
  • genetic transcription
  • growth
  • in vitro study
  • in vivo study
  • nonhuman
  • operon
  • plasmid
  • priority journal
  • prokaryote
  • promoter region
  • replicon
  • Streptomyces
  • telomere
  • yeast
  • biological model
  • cell line
  • gel mobility shift assay
  • genetics
  • human
  • metabolism
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • protein binding
  • Eukaryota
  • Prokaryota
  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Telomere


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