Mutational analysis of yeast TFIIB: A functional relationship between Ssu72 and Sub1/Tsp1 defined by allele-specific interactions with TFIIB

Wei-Hua Wu, Inés Pinto, Bo-Shiun Chen, Michael Hampsey

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TFIIB is an essential component of the RNA polymerase II core transcriptional machinery. Previous studies have defined TFIIB domains required for interaction with other transcription factors and for basal transcription in vitro. In the study reported here we investigated the TFIIB structural requirements for transcription initiation in vivo. A library of sua7 mutations encoding altered forms of yeast TFIIB was generated by error- prone polymerase chain reaction and screened for conditional growth defects. Twenty-two single amino acid replacements in TFIIB were defined and characterized. These replacements are distributed throughout the protein and occur primarily at phylogenetically conserved positions. Most replacements have little or no effect on the steady-state protein levels, implying that each affects TFIIB function rather than synthesis or stability. In contrast to the initial sua7 mutants, all replacements, with one exception, have no effect on start site selection, indicating that specific TFIIB structural defects affect transcriptional accuracy. This collection of sua7 alleles, including the initial sua7 alleles, was used to investigate the allele specificity of interactions between ssu 72 and sub1, both of which were initially identified as either suppressors (SUB1 2μ) or enhancers (sub1Δ, ssu72-1) of sua7 mutations. We show that the interactions of ssu 72-1 and sub1Δ with sua7 are allele specific; that the allele specificities of ssu72 and sub1 overlap; and that each of the sua7 alleles that interacts with ssu72 and sub1 affects the accuracy of transcription start site selection. These results demonstrate functional interactions among TFIIB, Ssu72, and Sub1 and suggest that these interactions play a role in the mechanism of start site selection by RNA polymerase II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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