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Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Jul 15;30(14):3078-85.

The role of TFIIB-RNA polymerase II interaction in start site selection in yeast cells.

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Division of Developmental Biology, Children's Hospital Research Foundation, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Previous studies have established a critical role of both TFIIB and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) in start site selection in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, it remains unclear how the TFIIB-RNAPII interaction impacts on this process since such an interaction can potentially influence both preinitiation complex (PIC) stability and conformation. In this study, we further investigate the role of TFIIB in start site selection by characterizing our newly generated TFIIB mutants, two of which exhibit a novel upstream shift of start sites in vivo. We took advantage of an artificial recruitment system in which an RNAPII holoenzyme component is covalently linked to a DNA-binding domain for more direct and stable recruitment. We show that TFIIB mutations can exert their effects on start site selection in such an artificial recruitment system even though it has a relaxed requirement for TFIIB. We further show that these TFIIB mutants have normal affinity for RNAPII and do not alter the promoter melting/scanning step. Finally, we show that overexpressing the genetically isolated TFIIB mutant E62K, which has a reduced affinity for RNAPII, can correct its start site selection defect. We discuss a model in which the TFIIB-RNAPII interaction controls the start site selection process by influencing the conformation of PIC prior to or during PIC assembly, as opposed to PIC stability.

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