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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Nov 1;88(21):9553-7.

Sequence of general transcription factor TFIIB and relationships to other initiation factors.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021.


Transcription factor TFIIB is a ubiquitous factor required for transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II. Previous studies have suggested that TFIIB serves as a bridge between the "TATA"-binding factor (TFIID) and RNA polymerase II during preinitiation complex assembly and, more recently, that TFIIB can be a target of acidic activators. We have purified TFIIB to homogeneity, shown that activity resides in a 33-kDa polypeptide, and obtained cDNAs encoding functional TFIIB. TFIIB contains a region with amino acid sequence similarity to a highly conserved region of prokaryotic sigma factors. This is consistent with analogous functions for these factors in promoter recognition by RNA polymerases and with similar findings for TFIID, TFIIE, and TFIIF/RAP30. Like TFIID, TFIIB contains both a large imperfect repeat that could contribute an element of symmetry to the folded protein and clusters of basic residues that could interact with acidic activator domains. These findings argue for a common origin of TFIIB, TFIID, and other general transcription factors and for the evolutionary segregation of complementary functions.

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