The RNA polymerase III-recruiting factor TFIIIB induces a DNA bend between the TATA box and the transcriptional start site

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TFIIIB, the RNA polymerase III-recruiting factor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, may be assembled upstream of the transcriptional start site, either through the interaction of its constituent TATA-binding protein (TBP) with a strong TATA-box, or by means of the multi-subunit assembly factor, TFIIIC. Missing nucleoside interference analysis of TFIIIC-dependent TFIIIB-DNA complex formation revealed enhanced complex formation at 0°C when the DNA is missing nucleosides in two broad 7-10 bp regions centered around base-pairs -17 and -3 relative to the transcriptional start site; no effect of missing nucleosides was evident at 20°C. The implication of these results for required DNA flexure in TFIIIC-mediated TFIIIB-DNA complex formation was pursued in a TFIIIC-independent context, using DNA with a suboptimal 6 bp TATA box (TATAAA). A unique missing nucleoside at the downstream end of the TATA box, corresponding to the position of one of two TBP-mediated DNA kinks, significantly enhances TBP-DNA complex formation. In contrast, TFIIIB displays a broad preference for missing nucleosides within an ~ 15 by region immediately downstream of the TATA box. Consecutive mismatches (4-nt loops), either at the sites of TBP-mediated DNA kinking at both ends of the TATA box or within the identified region where missing nucleosides promote TFIIIB-DNA complex formation, also result in enhanced and specific TFIIIB assembly; 4-nt loops further downstream do not lead to preferential placement of TFIIIB. We conclude that TFIIIB induces an additional DNA deformation between the TATA box and the start site of transcription that is likely to be more extended than the sharp kinks generated by TBP.

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Journal of Molecular Biology

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