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In prokaryotes, two classes of transcription terminators are known:
- Intrinsic transcription terminators where a hairpin structure forms within the nascent transcript that disrupts the mRNA-DNA-RNA polymerase ternary complex.
- Rho-dependent transcription terminators that require Rho factor, an RNA helicase protein complex, to disrupt the nascent mRNA-DNA-RNA polymerase ternary complex.
In eukaryotes, terminators are recognized by protein factors and termination is followed by polyadenylation.
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