Matching the Transcription Machinery to the Right DNA

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Science  26 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5470, pp. 1372-1373
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5470.1372

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Researchers have long known that a protein called TAF250 is an essential part of the machinery that transcribes genes into messenger RNAs, the first step of protein synthesis. Work described on page 1422 now helps reveal just what TAF250 does. Studies of a portion of the protein that contains two motifs called bromodomains shows that the bromodomains recognize and bind to acetyl groups attached to one of the histone proteins that wrap the DNA, forming beadlike structures called nucleosomes. This suggests that TAF250 helps direct the transcription machinery to the right DNA targets and gets the DNA into the correct configuration for transcription to occur.