Physical analysis of transcription preinitiation complex assembly on a class II gene promoter

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Science  09 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4871, pp. 1335-1338
DOI: 10.1126/science.3413495


Transcription of protein-encoding genes by human RNA polymerase II requires multiple ancillary proteins (transcription factors). Interactions between these proteins and the promoter DNA of a viral class II gene (the major late transcription unit of adenovirus) were investigated by enzymatic and chemical footprinting. The experiments indicated that the assembly of functionally active RNA polymerase II-containing transcription preinitiation complexes requires a complete set of transcription factors, and that both specific protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions are involved. This allows individual steps along the transcription reaction pathway to be tested directly, thus providing a basis for understanding basic transcription initiation mechanisms as well as the regulatory processes that act on them.