Pathways & interactions
RNA polymerase sigma-70 region 2 (IPR007627)
Short name: RNA_pol_sigma70_r2
Overlapping homologous superfamilies
- RNA polymerase sigma factor, region 2 (IPR013325)
The bacterial core RNA polymerase complex, which consists of five subunits, is sufficient for transcription elongation and termination but is unable to initiate transcription. Transcription initiation from promoter elements requires a sixth, dissociable subunit called a sigma factor, which reversibly associates with the core RNA polymerase complex to form a holoenzyme [PMID: 3052291]. RNA polymerase recruits alternative sigma factors as a means of switching on specific regulons. Most bacteria express a multiplicity of sigma factors. Two of these factors, sigma-70 (gene rpoD), generally known as the major or primary sigma factor, and sigma-54 (gene rpoN or ntrA) direct the transcription of a wide variety of genes. The other sigma factors, known as alternative sigma factors, are required for the transcription of specific subsets of genes.
With regard to sequence similarity, sigma factors can be grouped into two classes, the sigma-54 and sigma-70 families. Sequence alignments of the sigma70 family members reveal four conserved regions that can be further divided into subregions eg. sub-region 2.2, which may be involved in the binding of the sigma factor to the core RNA polymerase; and sub-region 4.2, which seems to harbor a DNA-binding 'helix-turn-helix' motif involved in binding the conserved -35 region of promoters recognised by the major sigma factors [PMID: 3092189, PMID: 1597408].
The plastids of higher plants originating from an ancestral cyanobacterial endosymbiont also contain sigma factors that are encoded by a small family of nuclear genes. All plastid sigma factors belong to the superfamily of sigmaA/sigma70 and have sequences homologous to the conserved regions 1.2, 2, 3, and 4 of bacterial sigma factors [PMID: 25596450].
Region 2 of sigma-70 is the most conserved region of the entire protein. All members of this class of sigma-factor contain region 2. The high conservation is due to region 2 containing both the -10 promoter recognition helix and the primary core RNA polymerase binding determinant. The core-binding helix, interacts with the clamp domain of the largest polymerase subunit, beta prime [PMID: 11931761, PMID: 8858155]. The aromatic residues of the recognition helix, found at the C terminus of this domain are thought to mediate strand separation, thereby allowing transcription initiation [PMID: 11931761, PMID: 8858155].
- PF04542 (Sigma70_r2)