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Mol Cell. 1998 Nov;2(5):663-73.

Histone-like TAFs are essential for transcription in vivo.

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


In yeast, the TBP-associated factors (TAFs) Taf17, Taf60, and Taf61(68) resemble histones H3, H4, and H2B, respectively. To analyze their roles in vivo, conditional alleles were isolated by mutagenizing their histone homology domains. Conditional alleles of TAF17 or TAF60 can be specifically suppressed by overexpression of any of the other histone-like TAFs. This and other genetic evidence supports the model of a histone octamer-like structure within TFIID. Shifting strains carrying the conditional TAF alleles to non-permissive conditions results in degradation of TFIID components and the rapid loss of mRNA production. Therefore, in contrast to previous studies in yeast that found only limited roles for TAFs in transcription, we find that the histone-like TAFs are generally required for in vivo transcription.

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