TFIIH is a eukaryotic complex composed of two subcomplexes, the CAK (Cdk activating kinase) and the core-TFIIH. The core-TFIIH, composed of seven subunits (XPB, XPD, P62, P52, P44, P34, and P8), plays a crucial role in transcription and repair. Here, we performed an extended sequence analysis to establish the accurate phylogenetic distribution of the core-TFIIH in 63 eukaryotic organisms. In spite of the high conservation of the seven subunits at the sequence and genomic levels, the non-enzymatic P8, P34, P52 and P62 are absent from one or a few unicellular species. To gain insight into their respective roles, we undertook a comparative genomic analysis of the whole proteome to identify the gene sets sharing similar presence/absence patterns. While little information was inferred for P8 and P62, our studies confirm the known role of P52 in repair and suggest for the first time the implication of the core TFIIH in mRNA splicing via P34.
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