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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Mar-Apr;1829(3-4):265-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

TFIIB-related factors in RNA polymerase I transcription.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Division of Basic Sciences, 1100 Fairview Ave. N, P.O. Box 19024, Mailstop A1-162, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Eukaryotic RNA polymerases (Pol) I, II, III and archaeal Pol use a related set of general transcription factors to recognize promoter sequences and recruit Pol to promoters and to function at key points in the transcription initiation mechanism. The TFIIB-like general transcription factors (GTFs) function during several important and conserved steps in the initiation pathway for Pols II, III, and archaeal Pol. Until recently, the mechanism of Pol I initiation seemed unique, since it appeared to lack a GTF paralogous to the TFIIB-like proteins. The surprising recent discovery of TFIIB-related Pol I general factors in yeast and humans highlights the evolutionary conservation of transcription initiation mechanisms for all eukaryotic and archaeal Pols. These findings reveal new roles for the function of the Pol I GTFs and insight into the function of TFIIB-related factors. Models for Pol I transcription initiation are reexamined in light of these recent findings. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Transcription by Odd Pols.

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