Wrapping of promoter DNA around the RNA polymerase II initiation complex induced by TFIIF

Mol Cell. 1998 Sep;2(3):341-51. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)80278-6.


The formation of the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) initiation complex was analyzed using site-specific protein-DNA photo-cross-linking. We show that the RAP74 subunit of transcription factor (TF) IIF, through its RAP30-binding domain and an adjacent region necessary for the formation of homomeric interactions in vitro, dramatically alters the distribution of RAP30, TFIIE, and Pol II along promoter DNA between positions -40 and +26. This isomerization of the complex, which requires both TFIIF and TFIIE, is accompanied by tight wrapping of the promoter DNA for almost a full turn around Pol II. Addition of TFIIH enhances photo-cross-linking of Pol II to a number of promoter positions, suggesting that TFIIH tightens the DNA wrap around the enzyme. We present a general model to describe transcription initiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Protein Conformation
  • RNA Polymerase II / chemistry
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors, TFII*


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • DNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors, TFII
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • transcription factor TFIIF