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Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Sep 11;21(18):4180-6.

A TBP-containing multiprotein complex (TIF-IB) mediates transcription specificity of murine RNA polymerase I.

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Institute of Cell and Tumor Biology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.


TIF-IB is a transcription factor which interacts with the mouse ribosomal gene promoter and nucleates the formation of an initiation complex containing RNA polymerase I (Pol I). We have purified this factor to near homogeneity and demonstrate that TIF-IB is a large complex (< 200 kDa) which contains several polypeptides. One of the subunits present in this protein complex is the TATA-binding protein (TBP) as revealed by copurification of TIF-IB activity and TBP over different chromatographic steps including immunoaffinity purification. In addition to TBP, three tightly associated proteins (TAFs-I) with apparent molecular weights of 95, 68, and 48 kDa are contained in this multimeric complex. This subunit composition is similar--but not identical--to the analogous human factor SL1. Depletion of TBP from TIF-IB-containing fractions by immunoprecipitation eliminates TIF-IB activity. Neither TBP alone nor fractions containing other TBP complexes are capable of substituting for TIF-IB activity. Therefore, TIF-IB is a unique complex with Pol I-specific TAFs distinct from other TBP-containing complexes. The identification of TBP as an integral part of the murine rDNA promoter-specific transcription initiation factor extends the previously noted similarity of transcriptional initiation by the three nuclear RNA polymerases and underscores the importance of TAFs in determining promoter specificity.

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