Petushkov Ivan Vladimirovich | Institute of Molecular Genetics

Academic degree:
without a degree

Academic title:
without academic rank

Division of IMG:
Laboratory of molecular genetics of microorganisms




Main research interests

We showed that interactions of the CRE pocket with a nontemplate guanine immediately downstream of the active center stimulate RNA-hairpin-dependent transcription pausing but not other types of pausing. Thus, conformational changes of the elongation complex induced by nascent RNA can modulate CRE effects on transcription. The results highlight the roles of specific core RNAP-DNA interactions at different steps of RNA synthesis and suggest their importance for transcription regulation in various organisms (Petushkov et al., 2015 Nucl. Acids Res. 43:5798-5809.) We also show that the stationary phase and stress response σ38 subunit can also induce pausing by Escherichia coli RNAP on DNA templates containing promoter-like motifs in the transcribed regions. The pausing depends on σ38 contacts with the DNA template and RNAP core enzyme and results in formation of backtracked transcription elongation complexes. (Petushkov et al., 2017 Nucl. Acids Res. 45(6):3006-3016).
We show that substitutions and deletions in σ region 3.2 decrease the rate of promoter escape and lead to accumulation of inactive complexes during transcription initiation. Secondary channel factors differentially regulate this process depending on the promoter and mutations in σ region 3.2. GreA generally increase the rate of promoter escape; DksA also stimulates promoter escape on certain templates, while GreB either stimulates or inhibits this process depending on the template. When observed, the stimulation of promoter escape correlates with the accumulation of stressed transcription complexes with scrunched DNA, while changes in the RNA 5'-end structure modulate promoter clearance. Thus, the initiation-to-elongation transition is controlled by a complex interplay between RNAP-binding protein factors and the growing RNA chain (Petushkov et al., 2017 Biochemical Journal 474(24):4053-4064). Rep 7(1):10194).
Nowadays we investigate mechanisms of the transition from the initiation stage to the elongation of transcription, and the role of the pause during initiation in this process, as well as the peculiarities of transcription in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 


  1. Petushkov I, Pupov D, Bass I, Kulbachinskiy A Mutations in the CRE pocket of bacterial RNA polymerase affect multiple steps of transcription // Nucleic Acids Res.. - 2015. - №43. - p. 5798-809.
  2. Petushkov I, Esyunina D, Kulbachinskiy A. σ38-dependent promoter-proximal pausing by bacterial RNA polymerase // Nucleic Acids Res.. - 2017. - №45. - p. 3006-3016.
  3. Petushkov I, Esyunina D, Kulbachinskiy A Possible roles of σ-dependent RNA polymerase pausing in transcription regulation // RNA Biol.. - 2017. - №14. - p. 1678-1682.
  4. Miropolskaya N, Petushkov I, Kulbachinskiy A, Makarova AV. Identification of amino acid residues involved in the dRP-lyase activity of human Pol ι // Sci Rep. - 2017. -7(1): С. 10194.
  5. Petushkov I, Esyunina D, Mekler V, Severinov K, Pupov D, Kulbachinskiy A Interplay between σ region 3.2 and secondary channel factors during promoter escape by bacterial RNA polymerase // Biochemical Journal. - 2017. - №474. - p. 4053-4064.