Architecture of TAF11/TAF13/TBP complex suggests novel regulation properties of general transcription factor TFIID

Elife. 2017 Nov 7;6:e30395. doi: 10.7554/eLife.30395.


General transcription factor TFIID is a key component of RNA polymerase II transcription initiation. Human TFIID is a megadalton-sized complex comprising TATA-binding protein (TBP) and 13 TBP-associated factors (TAFs). TBP binds to core promoter DNA, recognizing the TATA-box. We identified a ternary complex formed by TBP and the histone fold (HF) domain-containing TFIID subunits TAF11 and TAF13. We demonstrate that TAF11/TAF13 competes for TBP binding with TATA-box DNA, and also with the N-terminal domain of TAF1 previously implicated in TATA-box mimicry. In an integrative approach combining crystal coordinates, biochemical analyses and data from cross-linking mass-spectrometry (CLMS), we determine the architecture of the TAF11/TAF13/TBP complex, revealing TAF11/TAF13 interaction with the DNA binding surface of TBP. We identify a highly conserved C-terminal TBP-interaction domain (CTID) in TAF13, which is essential for supporting cell growth. Our results thus have implications for cellular TFIID assembly and suggest a novel regulatory state for TFIID function.

Keywords: S. cerevisiae; TBP associated factors; TFIID; biochemistry; biophysics; core promoter DNA; gene regulation; histone fold domain; human; structural biology; transcription factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • TATA-Binding Protein Associated Factors / chemistry*
  • TATA-Binding Protein Associated Factors / metabolism*
  • TATA-Box Binding Protein / chemistry*
  • TATA-Box Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factor TFIID / chemistry
  • Transcription Factor TFIID / metabolism*


  • TAF11 protein, human
  • TAF13 protein, human
  • TATA-Binding Protein Associated Factors
  • TATA-Box Binding Protein
  • TBP protein, human
  • Transcription Factor TFIID
  • DNA
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • TATA-binding protein associated factor 250 kDa