Definitions

Pribnow box

Pribnow box

The Pribnow box (also known as the Pribnow-Schaller box) is the sequence TATAAT of six nucleotides (thymine-adenine-thymine-etc.) that is an essential part of a promoter site on DNA for transcription to occur in bacteria. It is an idealized or consensus sequence - that is, it shows the most frequently occurring base at each position in a large number of promoters analyzed; individual promoters often vary from the consensus at one or more positions. It is also commonly called the -10 sequence, because it is centered roughly 10 base pairs upstream from the site of initiation of transcription.

The Pribnow box has a function similar to the TATA box that occurs in promoters in eukaryotes(+archaea): it is recognized and bound by a subunit of RNA polymerase during initiation of transcription. This region of the DNA is also the first place where base pairs separate to allow access to one strand as the template for transcription. The AT-richness is important to allow this separation, since adenine and thymine pair together with only two hydrogen bonds (as opposed to three as with guanine and cytosine), they are easier to break apart.

Probability of occurrence of each nucleotide

T A T A A T
82% 89% 52% 59% 49% 89%

The Pribnow box or Pribnow-Schaller box is named after David Pribnow and Heinz Schaller.

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