Cyanobacteria are photosynthesizing microorganisms that can be used as a model for analyzing gene expression. The expression of genes involves transcription and translation. Transcription is performed by the RNA polymerase (RNAP) holoenzyme, comprising a core enzyme and a sigma (σ) factor which confers promoter selectivity. The unique structure, expression, and function of cyanobacterial σ factors (and RNAP core subunits) are summarized here based on studies, reported previously. The types of promoter recognized by the σ factors are also discussed with regard to transcriptional regulation.
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