Engineering dimer-stabilizing mutations in the TATA-binding protein

Haiping Kou, B. Franklin Pugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The TATA-binding protein (TBP) plays a central role in assembling eukaryotic transcription complexes and is subjected to extensive regulation including auto-inhibition of its DNA binding activity through dimerization. Previously, we have shown that mutations that disrupt TBP dimers in vitro have three detectable phenotypes in vivo, including decreased steady-state levels of the mutants, transcriptional derepression, and toxicity toward cell growth. In an effort to more precisely define the multimeric structure of TBP in vivo, the crystallographic dimer structure was used to design mutations that might enhance dimer stability. These mutations were found to enhance dimer stability in vitro and significantly suppress in vivo phenotypes arising from a dimer-destabilizing mutation. Although it is conceivable that phenotypes associated with dimer-destabilizing mutants could arise through defective interactions with other cellular factors, intragenic suppression of these phenotypes by mutations designed to stabilize dimers provides compelling evidence for a crystallographic dimer configuration in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20966-20973
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 14 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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