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Science. 2011 Sep 16;333(6049):1640-2. doi: 10.1126/science.1207656.

TAF1B is a TFIIB-like component of the basal transcription machinery for RNA polymerase I.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.


Transcription by eukaryotic RNA polymerases (Pols) II and III and archaeal Pol requires structurally related general transcription factors TFIIB, Brf1, and TFB, respectively, which are essential for polymerase recruitment and initiation events. A TFIIB-like protein was not evident in the Pol I basal transcription machinery. We report that TAF1B, a subunit of human Pol I basal transcription factor SL1, is structurally related to TFIIB/TFIIB-like proteins, through predicted amino-terminal zinc ribbon and cyclin-like fold domains. SL1, essential for Pol I recruitment to the ribosomal RNA gene promoter, also has an essential postpolymerase recruitment role, operating through TAF1B. Therefore, a TFIIB-related protein is implicated in preinitiation complex assembly and postpolymerase recruitment events in Pol I transcription, underscoring the parallels between eukaryotic Pol I, II, and III and archaeal transcription machineries.

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