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Many nucleic acid polymerases function in clusters known as factories. We investigate whether the RNA polymerase (RNAP) of phage T7 also clusters when active. Using 'pulldowns' and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy we find that elongation complexes do not interact in vitro with a K(d)<1 µM. Chromosome conformation capture also reveals that genes located 100 kb apart on the E. coli chromosome do not associate more frequently when transcribed by T7 RNAP. We conclude that if clustering does occur in vivo, it must be driven by weak interactions, or mediated by a phage-encoded protein.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Bacteriophage T7, Chromosomes, Bacterial, DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases, Escherichia coli, Transcription, Genetic, Viral Proteins