Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1988, 53, 181-185

On the mechanism of rifampicin inhibition of DNA dependent RNA polymerase from Escherichia coli: A new hypothesis of the drug action

Aleš Cvekl, Květa Horská and Karel Šebesta

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 166 10 Prague 6


The influence of rifampicin on the temperature dependent synthesis of trinucleotides ApUpA and UpApU was studied. Whereas the elongation of dinucleotide ApU is stimulated to a great extent, the elongation of UpA is inhibited to about 50%. These results cannot be explained in terms of different models proposed for the mechanism of inhibition of RNA synthesis caused by rifampicin. According to our hypothesis rifampicin inhibits internal rearrangement of the RNA polymerase which occurs during the transition of the initiation complex to the stable elongation complex.