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A sugar, isomeric with lactose, that is the true inducer of the lac operon.
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The best examples of the effects of allosteric effectors on TF function are allolactose on the lac repressor interaction with DNA and steroids on nuclear factors.
The lac repressor interacts with RNAP when not bound to allolactose. The RNAP in this complex with the lac repressor cycles through abortive initiation making short transcripts.
It is due to reason that high level of allolactose is required at the time of induction.