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Mol Cell. 1998 May;1(6):925-31.

Transcription activation via enhanced preinitiation complex assembly in a human cell-free system lacking TAFIIs.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


In contrast to previous findings in cell-free systems reconstituted with partially purified metazoan factors, we demonstrate dramatic activation of transcription in a TBP-dependent but TAFII-independent manner in HeLa nuclear extracts immunodepleted of TBP and major TAFIIs. Single-round transcription assays reveal that TAFII-independent activation is manifested at the level of productive preinitiation complex formation and that TAFIIs actually impair functional preinitiation complex assembly in a core promoter-specific manner. Furthermore, TAFIIs appear to elevate absolute levels of transcription under multiple-round transcription conditions, presumably by facilitating secondary initiation events. Finally, human coactivator activities related to those in yeast RNA polymerase II/mediator complexes appear to function in unfractionated HeLa nuclear extracts.

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