Fractionation of a transcription-competent HeLa cell extract on a column containing one copy of the heptamer repeat (YSPTSPS) present in the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II resulted in the loss of transcriptional activity. Fractionation of the extracts on columns containing mutations of the heptamer repeat was without effect. Such transcriptionally inactive extracts regained their ability to specifically transcribe different class II promoters upon the addition of human TFIID, recombinant yeast TATA-binding protein (TBP), or proteins bound to the column. Fractionation of RNA polymerase II on columns containing human or yeast TBP resulted in the specific retention of the nonphosphorylated form of RNA polymerase II. The phosphorylated form of the enzyme was unable to interact with TBP. The specific interaction of RNA polymerase II with TBP was mediated by the CTD of RNA polymerase II.