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Nucleic Acids Res. Feb 1, 1999; 27(3): 831–838.
PMCID: PMC148254

Transcription reinitiation rate: a potential role for TATA box stabilization of the TFIID:TFIIA:DNA complex.

Abstract

Potential pathways that could account for observed rapid rates of transcription reinitiation were explored. A nuclear extract system was established in which reinitiation rates were observed to be kinetically facilitated and in which the rate was sensitive to TATA box mutation. Kinetic facilitation of functional complex formation could be mimicked by pre-assembling activator and certain general transcription factors on the promoter and then adding nuclear extract. The minimal activated complex with this characteristic contained general factors TFIID and TFIIA. The ability of the TFIID:TFIIA complex to complete assembly rapidly was reduced by the same TATA box mutation that reduced reinitiation rate. Band shift experiments also showed that this same mutation lowered the stability of the TBP:TFIIA complex on the DNA. The results suggest that TATA-dependent variations in retention of the TFIID:TFIIA complex after release of the polymerase could be a primary determinant of reinitiation rate, allowing diversity in promoter strength to be related to diversity in TATA element sequences.

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