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Gene. 2004 Nov 24;342(2):231-41.

TBP-associated factors in Arabidopsis.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133, Milan, Italy.


Initiation of transcription mediated by RNA polymerase II requires a number of transcription factors among which TFIID is the major core promoter recognition factor. TFIID is composed of highly conserved factors which include the TATA-binding protein (TBP) and about 14 TBP-associated factors (TAFs). Since TAFs play important roles in transcription they have been extensively studied in organisms like yeast, Drosophila and human. Surprisingly, TAFs have been poorly characterized in plants. With the completion of the Arabidopsis genome sequence, it is possible to search for TAFs, since many of them have conserved amino acid sequences. Mining the genome of Arabidopsis for TAFs resulted in the identification of 18 putative Arabidopsis TAFs (AtTAFs). We have analyzed their protein structure and their genomic localisation. Expression profiling by RT-PCR showed that these TAFs are expressed in all parts of the plant which is in agreement with their general role in transcription. These analyses in combination with their evolutionary conservation with TAFs of other organisms are discussed.

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