Transcription and RNA Processing

ID #1801

Is RNA polymerase of E.coli made of 6 subunits called holoenzyme, then does that mean RNA polymerase IS holoenzyme? if so, why does it have two names?

The phrase "RNA polymerase" isn't specific enough at times when referring to E. coli. Just saying RNA polymerase doesn't indicate to us whether the sigma factor (one of those 6 subunits) is present or absent, so we add to the terminology to make that distinction. "RNA polymerase holoenzyme" indicates to us that sigma factor is attached and this molecule can recognize a -10/-35 site. "RNA polymerase core enzyme" indicates to us that sigma factor has dissociated already, and this molecule is either in the process of transcribing an RNA molecule or is looking for a sigma factor to join up with.

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