Regulation of transcription elongation is based on response of RNA polymerase (RNAP) to various pause signals and is modulated by various accessory factors. Here we report that a 7 kDa protein p7 encoded by bacteriophage Xp10 acts as an elongation processivity factor of RNAP of host bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae, a major rice pathogen. Our data suggest that p7 stabilizes the upstream DNA duplex of the elongation complex thus disfavouring backtracking and promoting forward translocated states of the elongation complex. The p7-induced 'pushing' of RNAP and modification of RNAP contacts with the upstream edge of the transcription bubble lead to read-through of various types of pauses and termination signals and generally increase transcription processivity and elongation rate, contributing for transcription of an extremely long late genes operon of Xp10. Forward translocation was observed earlier upon the binding of unrelated bacterial elongation factor NusG, suggesting that this may be a general pathway of regulation of transcription elongation.
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