Rho-independent transcription termination

Jump to: navigation, search

Rho-independent transcription termination is a mechanism in bacteria whereby mRNA transcription is stopped. In this mechanism, the mRNA contains a stem-loop followed by several Us (uracil residues), which destabilizes the RNA polymerase binding to the DNA template strand, causing transcription to stop[1]. Stems are typically 5-8 base pairs long, with 4 or more Us. However, terminators with longer stems can tolerate fewer Us. Rho-independent transcription termination is a frequent mechanism underlying the activity of cis-acting RNA regulatory elements, such as riboswitches.


  1. Farnham PJ (1981). "Rho-independent termination: dyad symmetry in DNA causes RNA polymerase to pause during transcription in vitro". Nucleic Acids Res. 9 (3): 563–77. PMID 7012794. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)