We are investigating transcription. All possible aspects: from mechanisms of reactions to regulation and interactions with other cellular machineries. As a model we are using bacterial RNA polymerases, however most of the results are expandable to archaeas and eukaryots, given an amazing conservation of RNA polymerases in all living organisms. We are using predominantly biochemistry and molecular biology as tools of our studies.
RNA polymerase is one of the most ancient protein enzymes on the planet. Being one of the essential processes in the present day cells, the templated RNA synthesis was the most important processes in RNA and RNA-protein worlds. The main goal of our study is to understand this early day evolution, how RNA polymerase emerged, and evolved to the enzymes we know today.
Specific: cellular machineries working with nucleic acids.
General: molecular evolution, physics of high gravities and velocities.
Most recent publications:
Yuzenkova, Y., and Zenkin, N. (2010). Central role of the RNA polymerase trigger loop in intrinsic RNA hydrolysis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
Yuzenkova, Y., Bochkareva, A., Tadigotla, V.R., Roghanian, M., Zorov, S., Severinov, K., and Zenkin, N. (2010). Stepwise mechanism for transcription fidelity. BMC Biol 8, 54.