Increased recruitment of TATA-binding protein to the promoter by transcriptional activation domains in vivo

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Science  14 Oct 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5183, pp. 280-282
DOI: 10.1126/science.7939664


The rate at which the TATA-binding protein (TBP) interacts with the TATA element and promotes transcription by RNA polymerase II was determined in yeast cells. A TBP derivative with altered TATA-element specificity was rapidly induced, and transcription from promoters with appropriately mutated TATA elements was measured. Without a functional activator protein, basal transcription was observed only after a lag of several hours. In contrast, GCN4-activated transcription occurred rapidly upon induction of the TBP derivative. These results suggest that accessibility of TBP to the chromatin template in vivo is rate limiting and that activation domains increase recruitment of TBP to the promoter.