UV radiation is thought to inhibit transcriptional elongation, as a result of the formation of pyrimidine dimers in the DNA template, as well as to activate specific transcription factors. However, the effect of UV radiation on the enzymatic activity of RNA polymerase has remained unknown. With the use of an in vitro assay, UV irradiation of Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae has now been shown to increase RNA polymerase activity. This effect was maximal at a UV dose of ∼12 J m-2 and at ∼60 min after irradiation. It was also not inhibited by pretreatment of cells with chloramphenicol, an inhibitor of protein synthesis. Immunoprecipitation with antibodies to the RNA polymerase core enzyme revealed that exposure of the bacterial cells to UV radiation induced the association of the core enzyme with a protein of ∼29 kDa. These results demonstrate that UV radiation increases the activity of RNA polymerase, and they suggest that this effect may be related to the repair of DNA damage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology