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Journal Articles (Review Article) Current Genetics Year : 2018

Transcription termination factor Rho and microbial phenotypic heterogeneity


Populations of genetically identical microorganisms exhibit high degree of cell-to-cell phenotypic diversity even when grown in uniform environmental conditions. Heterogeneity is a genetically determined trait, which ensures bacterial adaptation and survival in the ever changing environmental conditions. Fluctuations in gene expression (noise) at the level of transcription initiation largely contribute to cell-to-cell variability within population. Not surprisingly, the analyses of the mechanisms driving phenotypic heterogeneity are mainly focused on the activity of promoters and transcriptional factors. Less attention is currently given to a role of intrinsic and factor-dependent transcription terminators. Here, we discuss recent advances in understanding the regulatory role of the multi-functional transcription termination factor Rho, the major inhibitor of pervasive transcription in bacteria and the emerging global regulator of gene expression. We propose that termination activity of Rho might be among the mechanisms by which cells manage the intensity of transcriptional noise, thus affecting population heterogeneity.
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hal-04023239 , version 1 (10-03-2023)



Elena Bidnenko, Vladimir Bidnenko. Transcription termination factor Rho and microbial phenotypic heterogeneity. Current Genetics, 2018, 64, pp. 541-546. ⟨10.1007/s00294-017-0775-7⟩. ⟨hal-04023239⟩
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