Isolation and characterization of the Drosophila gene encoding the TATA box binding protein, TFIID

Timothy Hoey, Brian David Dynlacht, M. Gregory Peterson, B. Franklin Pugh, Robert Tjian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


To investigate the biochemical mechanisms involved in interactions between regulatory factors and the general transcription complex, we have cloned, expressed, and characterized the Drosophila gene encoding the TATA binding protein, dTFIID. Comparison of the protein sequences of the Drosophila and yeast TATA binding proteins reveals a bipartite organization consisting of a highly conserved, basic carboxy-terminal domain and a nonconserved amino-terminal region rich in Gln, Gly, Ser, and Met residues. Purified dTFIID protein binds specifically to the TATA sequence and activates basal-level transcription, and the conserved carboxy-terminal half of the molecule is sufficient for both activities. Partially purified TFIID from Drosophila cells mediates activation by the transcription factor Sp1. In contrast, purified dTFIID expressed from the cloned gene is unable to support Sp1-dependent activation, suggesting that other factors may be required to mediate interactions between upstream activators like Sp1 and the TATA binding protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1186
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 29 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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