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Trends Biochem Sci. 2000 Feb;25(2):59-63.

TBP-associated factors (TAFIIs): multiple, selective transcriptional mediators in common complexes.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Transcription of eukaryotic structural genes requires the assembly of RNA polymerase II and the general transcription factors (GTFs) on the promoter to form a pre-initiation complex (PIC). Among these, TFIID is the major sequence-specific DNA-binding component; the other GTFs enter the PIC primarily through protein-protein interactions. TFIID is composed of the TATA-box-binding protein (TBP) and multiple TBP-associated factors (TAFIIs). Unexpectedly, TAFIIs have also been found in other multi-subunit complexes involved in transcription. Whereas TBP is a general transcription factor, a variety of in vivo studies have demonstrated that TAFIIs are highly promoter selective. Here I review studies on the role of TAFIIs in genome-wide transcription and their mechanism of action.

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