The TBP-like factor CeTLF is required to activate RNA polymerase II transcription during C. elegans embryogenesis

Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):705-13. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)00068-x.


Metazoans possess two TATA-binding protein homologs, the general transcription factor TBP and a related factor called TLF. Four models have been proposed for the role of TLF in RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription: (1) TLF and TBP function redundantly, (2) TLF antagonizes TBP, (3) TLF is a tissue-specific TBP, or (4) TLF and TBP have distinct activities. Here we report that CeTLF is required to express a subset of Pol II genes and associates with at least one of these genes in vivo. CeTLF is also necessary to establish bulk transcription during early embryogenesis. Since CeTLF and CeTBP are expressed at comparable levels in the same cells, these findings suggest CeTLF performs a unique function in activating Pol II transcription distinct from that of CeTBP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • TATA Box Binding Protein-Like Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation / physiology*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TATA Box Binding Protein-Like Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • tlf-1 protein, C elegans
  • RNA Polymerase II

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF228692