Ribosomal protein L4 regulates the 11-gene S10 operon in Escherichia coli by acting, in concert with transcription factor NusA, to cause premature transcription termination at a Rho-independent termination site in the leader sequence. This process presumably involves L4 interaction with the leader mRNA. Here, we report direct, specific, and independent binding of ribosomal protein L4 to the S10 mRNA leader in vitro. Most of the binding energy is contributed by a small hairpin structure within the leader regio…
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