A new protein subunit k for RNA polymerase from Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae

C K Chen, J Tu, T T Kuo


During the purification of RNA polymerase from Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae, a new subunit named k was found to be associated with this enzyme. The removal of subunit k from holoenzyme by DEAE-cellulose column chromatography results in a decrease in specific activity of the enzyme. The readdition of subunit k to subunit k-depleted holoenzyme results in restoration of enzymatic activity. Subunit k increase the activity of RNA polymerase; the activation was in proportion to the concentration of subunit k added. Antiserum against holoenzyme devoid of subunit k was prepared. This antiserum did not react with purified subunit k; therefore, subunit k may not be the proteolytic fragment of the beta, beta', sigma, or alpha subunit. When this antiserum was used to precipitate RNA polymerase obtained from a crude extract of bacterial cells, subunit k was coprecipitated as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoretic analysis. The molecular mass of subunit k is approximately 29 kDa, and the molar ratio of beta:beta':sigma:alpha:k was estimated to be 1:1:1:2:4. When native Xp10 DNA was used as template, subunit k stimulated subunit k-depleted holoenzyme, but not core enzyme. When the synthetic polynucleotide poly[d(A-T)] was used, subunit k activated both subunit k-depleted holoenzyme and core enzyme. Subunit k also activated the binding of RNA polymerase to template DNA.