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.