A transcription reinitiation intermediate that is stabilized by activator

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High levels of gene transcription by RNA polymerase II depend on high rates of transcription initiation and reinitiation. Initiation requires recruitment of the complete transcription machinery to a promoter, a process facilitated by activators and chromatin remodelling factors. Reinitiation probably occurs through a different pathway1. After initiation, a subset of the transcription machinery remains at the promoter, forming a platform for assembly of a second transcription complex2,3,4. Here we describe the isolation of a reinitiation intermediate that includes transcription factors TFIID, TFIIA, TFIIH, TFIIE and Mediator. This intermediate can act as a scaffold for formation of a functional reinitiation complex. Formation of this scaffold is dependent on ATP and TFIIH. The scaffold is stabilized in the presence of the activator Gal4–VP16, but not Gal4–AH, suggesting a new role for some activators and Mediator in promoting high levels of transcription.

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Figure 1: Scaffold contains activator, TFIID, TFIIA, Mediator, TFIIH and TFIIE.
Figure 2: Scaffold supports reinitiation.
Figure 3: Scaffold formation is TFIIH-dependent.
Figure 4: Gal4–VP16 promotes scaffold stability and a higher rate of reinitiation.
Figure 5: Reinitiation model.


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We thank members of the Hahn and Reeder laboratories for helpful discussions, and A. Krumm, S. Parkhurst and R. Reeder for comments on the manuscript. We also thank L. Prakash for providing the Rad3ts strain, M. Solomon for providing the Kin28ts strain, D. Reinberg for TFIIE antibodies and H. Sakurai for providing the Tfa1ts strain and antibodies to Gal11. This work was supported by grants from the NIH to S.H. and an NIH training grant to N.Y. S.H. is an associate investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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Correspondence to Steven Hahn.

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