Dissection of transcription factor TFIIF functional domains required for initiation and elongation

Siyuan Tan, Ronald C. Conaway, Joan Weliky Conaway

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66 Scopus citations


TFIIF is unique among the general transcription factors because of its ability to control the activity of RNA polymerase II at both the initiation and elongation stages of transcription. Mammalian TFIIF, a heterodimer of ≃30-kDa (RAP30) and ≃70-kDa (RAP74) subunits, assists TFIIB in recruiting RNA polymerase II into the preinitiation complex and activates the overall rate of RNA chain elongation by suppressing transient pausing by polymerase at many sites on DNA templates. A major objective of efforts to understand how TFIIF regulates transcription has been to establish the relationship between its initiation and elongation activities. Here we establish this relationship by demonstrating that TFIIF transcriptional activities are mediated by separable functional domains. To accomplish this, we sought and identified distinct classes of RAP30 mutations that selectively block TFIIF activity in transcription initiation and elongation. We propose that (i) TFIIF initiation activity is mediated at least in part by RAP30 C-terminal sequences that include a cryptic DNA-binding domain similar to conserved region 4 of bacterial σ factors and (ii) TFIIF elongation activity is mediated in part by RAP30 sequences located immediately upstream of the C terminus in a region proposed to bind RNA polymerase II and by additional sequences located in the RAP30 N terminus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6042-6046
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 20 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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