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J Biol Chem. 2012 Oct 12;287(42):35397-408. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.391581. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Proteomic analysis demonstrates activator- and chromatin-specific recruitment to promoters.

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Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


In-depth characterization of RNA polymerase II preinitiation complexes remains an important and challenging goal. We used quantitative mass spectrometry to explore context-dependent Saccharomyces cerevisiae preinitiation complex formation at the HIS4 promoter reconstituted on naked and chromatinized DNA templates. The transcription activators Gal4-VP16 and Gal4-Gcn4 recruited a limited set of chromatin-related coactivator complexes, namely the chromatin remodeler Swi/Snf and histone acetyltransferases SAGA and NuA4, suggesting that transcription stimulation is mediated through these factors. Moreover, the two activators differentially recruited the coactivator complexes, consistent with specific activator-coactivator interactions. Chromatinized templates suppressed recruitment of basal transcription factors, thereby amplifying the effect of activators, compared with naked DNA templates. This system is sensitive, highly reproducible, and easily applicable to mapping the repertoire of proteins found at any promoter.

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