Uncovering ancient transcription systems with a novel evolutionary indicator.
ABSTRACT: TBP and TFIIB are evolutionarily conserved transcription initiation factors in archaea and eukaryotes. Information about their ancestral genes would be expected to provide insight into the origin of the RNA polymerase II-type transcription apparatus. In obtaining such information, the nucleotide sequences of current genes of both archaea and eukaryotes should be included in the analysis. However, the present methods of evolutionary analysis require that a subset of the genes should be excluded as an outer group. To overcome this limitation, we propose an innovative concept for evolutionary analysis that does not require an outer group. This approach utilizes the similarity in intramolecular direct repeats present in TBP and TFIIB as an evolutionary measure revealing the degree of similarity between the present offspring genes and their ancestors. Information on the properties of the ancestors and the order of emergence of TBP and TFIIB was also revealed. These findings imply that, for evolutionarily early transcription systems billions of years ago, interaction of RNA polymerase II with transcription initiation factors and the regulation of its enzymatic activity was required prior to the accurate positioning of the enzyme. Our approach provides a new way to discuss mechanistic and system evolution in a quantitative manner.
Project description:Transcription factor IIIB (TFIIIB) is directly involved in transcription initiation by RNA polymerase III in eukaryotes. Yeast contain a single TFIIIB activity that is comprised of the TATA-binding protein (TBP), TFIIB-related factor 1 (BRF1), and TFIIIB", whereas two distinct TFIIIB activities, TFIIIB-alpha and TFIIIB-beta, have been described in human cells. Human TFIIIB-beta is required for transcription of genes with internal promoter elements, and contains TBP, a TFIIIB" homologue (TFIIIB150), and a BRF1 homologue (TFIIIB90), whereas TFIIIB-alpha is required for transcription of genes with promoter elements upstream of the initiation site. Here we describe the identification, cloning, and characterization of TFIIIB50, a novel homologue of TFIIB and TFIIIB90. TFIIIB50 and tightly associated factors, along with TBP and TFIIIB150, reconstitute human TFIIIB-alpha activity. Thus, higher eukaryotes, in contrast to the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have evolved two distinct TFIIB-related factors that mediate promoter selectivity by RNA polymerase III.
Project description:TATA-box binding protein (TBP) is required for every single transcription event in archaea and eukaryotes. It binds DNA and harbors two repeats with an internal structural symmetry that show sequence asymmetry. At various times in evolution, TBP has acquired multiple interaction partners and different organisms have evolved TBP paralogs with additional protein regions. Together, these observations raise questions of what molecular determinants (i.e. key residues) led to the ability of TBP to acquire new interactions, resulting in an increasingly complex transcriptional system in eukaryotes. We present a comprehensive study of the evolutionary history of TBP and its interaction partners across all domains of life, including viruses. Our analysis reveals the molecular determinants and suggests a unified and multi-stage evolutionary model for the functional innovations of TBP. These findings highlight how concerted chemical changes on a conserved structural scaffold allow for the emergence of complexity in a fundamental biological process.
Project description:A repertoire of transcription initiation factors engage the core promoter of mRNA genes to recruit RNA polymerase (Pol) II to initiate transcription, yet their precise spatial organization remains unclear. Using ChIP-exo, here we detail the interactions and genomic organization of initiation factors TBP, TFIIB, and Pol II at mRNA genes and within CpG islands. We find that when Pol II moves into a transcriptionally paused state, TBP/TFIIB remain at the promoter. We show that TBP and TFIIB bound to the core promoter at two separate, resolvable locations that coincided with sites of divergent transcription initiation. We also examine the precise binding of TBP at Pol III transcribed tRNA genes. We find that TBP crosslinked to tRNA genes in a similar manner as at Pol II transcribed genes. This comprehensive and high resolution genome-wide detection of the initiation machinery produces a consolidated view of transcription initiation events humans at Pol II coding and Pol III transcribed tRNA genes.
Project description:The Archaea (archaebacteria) constitute a group of prokaryotes that are phylogenetically distinct from Eucarya (eukaryotes) and Bacteria (eubacteria). Although Archaea possess only one RNA polymerase, evidence suggests that their transcriptional apparatus is similar to that of Eucarya. For example, Archaea contain a homolog of the TATA-binding protein which interacts with the TATA-box like A-box sequence upstream of many archaeal genes. Here, we report the cloning of a Sulfolobus shibatae gene that encodes a protein (transcription factor TFB) with striking homology to the eukaryotic basal transcription factor TFIIB. We show by primer extension analysis that transcription of the S. shibatae TFB gene initiates 27 bp downstream from a consensus A-box element. Significantly, S. shibatae TFB contains an N-terminal putative metal-binding region and two imperfect direct repeats--structural features that are well conserved in eukaryotic TFIIBs. This suggests that TFB may perform analogous functions in Archaea and Eucarya. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that S. shibatae TFB promotes the binding of S. shibatae TBP to the A-box element of the Sulfolobus 16S/23S rRNA gene. Finally, we show that S. shibatae TFB is significantly more related to TFB of the archaeon Pyrococcus woesei than it is to eukaryotic TFIIBs. These data suggest that TFB arose in the common archaeal/eukaryotic ancestor and that the lineages leading to P. woesei and S. shibatae separated after the divergence of the archaeal and eukaryotic lines of descent.
Project description:The TATA-binding protein (TBP) is involved in all nuclear transcription. We show that a common site on TBP is used for transcription initiation complex formation by RNA polymerases (pols) II and III. TBP, the transcription factor IIB (TFIIB)-related factor Brf1 and the pol III-specific factor Bdp1 constitute TFIIIB. A photochemical cross-linking approach was used to survey a collection of human TBP surface residue mutants for their ability to form TFIIIB-DNA complexes reliant on only the TFIIB-related part of Brf1. Mutations impairing complex formation and transcription were identified and mapped on the surface of TBP. The most severe effects were observed for mutations in the C-terminal stirrup of TBP, which is the principal site of interaction between TBP and TFIIB. Structural modeling of the Brf1-TBP complex and comparison with its TFIIB-TBP analog further rationalizes the close resemblance of the TBP interaction with the N-proximal part of Brf1 and TFIIB, and establishes the conserved usage of a TBP surface in pol II and pol III transcription for a conserved function in the initiation of transcription.
Project description:Compared with eukaryotes, the archaeal transcription initiation machinery-commonly known as the Pre-Initiation Complex-is relatively simple. The archaeal PIC consists of the TFIIB ortholog TFB, TBP, and an 11-subunit RNA polymerase (RNAP). The relatively small size of the entire archaeal PIC makes it amenable to structural analysis. Using purified RNAP, TFB, and TBP from the thermophile Pyrococcus furiosus, we assembled the biochemically active PIC at 65ºC. The intact archaeal PIC was isolated by implementing a cross-linking technique followed by size-exclusion chromatography, and the structure of this 440 kDa assembly was determined using electron microscopy and single-particle reconstruction techniques. Combining difference maps with crystal structure docking of various sub-domains, TBP and TFB were localized within the macromolecular PIC. TBP/TFB assemble near the large RpoB subunit and the RpoD/L "foot" domain behind the RNAP central cleft. This location mimics that of yeast TBP and TFIIB in complex with yeast RNAP II. Collectively, these results define the structural organization of the archaeal transcription machinery and suggest a conserved core PIC architecture.
Project description:RNA polymerase II (Pol II) small nuclear RNA (snRNA) promoters and type 3 Pol III promoters have highly similar structures; both contain an interchangeable enhancer and "proximal sequence element" (PSE), which recruits the SNAP complex (SNAPc). The main distinguishing feature is the presence, in the type 3 promoters only, of a TATA box, which determines Pol III specificity. To understand the mechanism by which the absence or presence of a TATA box results in specific Pol recruitment, we examined how SNAPc and general transcription factors required for Pol II or Pol III transcription of SNAPc-dependent genes (i.e., TATA-box-binding protein [TBP], TFIIB, and TFIIA for Pol II transcription and TBP and BRF2 for Pol III transcription) assemble to ensure specific Pol recruitment. TFIIB and BRF2 could each, in a mutually exclusive fashion, be recruited to SNAPc. In contrast, TBP-TFIIB and TBP-BRF2 complexes were not recruited unless a TATA box was present, which allowed selective and efficient recruitment of the TBP-BRF2 complex. Thus, TBP both prevented BRF2 recruitment to Pol II promoters and enhanced BRF2 recruitment to Pol III promoters. On Pol II promoters, TBP recruitment was separate from TFIIB recruitment and enhanced by TFIIA. Our results provide a model for specific Pol recruitment at SNAPc-dependent promoters.
Project description:Networks of interacting transcription factors are central to the regulation of cellular responses to abiotic stress. Although the architecture of many such networks has been mapped, their dynamic function remains unclear. Here we address this challenge in archaea, microorganisms possessing transcription factors that resemble those of both eukaryotes and bacteria. Using genome-wide DNA binding location analysis integrated with gene expression and cell physiological data, we demonstrate that a bacterial-type transcription factor (TF), called RosR, and five TFIIB proteins, homologs of eukaryotic TFs, combinatorially regulate over 100 target genes important for the response to extremely high levels of peroxide. These genes include 20 other transcription factors and oxidative damage repair genes. RosR promoter occupancy is surprisingly dynamic, with the pattern of target gene expression during the transition from rapid growth to stress correlating strongly with the pattern of dynamic binding. We conclude that a hierarchical regulatory network orchestrated by TFs of hybrid lineage enables dynamic response and survival under extreme stress in archaea. This raises questions regarding the evolutionary trajectory of gene networks in response to stress.
Project description:Transcriptional activator proteins interact with the general transcription factors TATA-binding protein (TBP), TFIIB and/or other TBP-associated factors (TAFs). Using affinity chromatography we demonstrate that members of the Jun family of transcriptional activators interact with both TBP and TFIIB in vitro. TBP binds to both the N-terminal activation domain and C-terminal bZIP regions of c-Jun, whereas TFIIB binds to only the c-Jun bZIP domain. This interaction requires the dimerization of the Jun protein. The ability of the N-terminal activation domains of c-Jun, JunB, JunD and v-Jun to interact with TBP in vitro correlates with their transcriptional activity in vivo. Domain mapping experiments indicate that c-Jun interacts with the conserved C-terminus of TBP. Studies using a set of TFIIB inframe deletion mutants demonstrate that C-terminal amino acids 178-201 and 238-316 play an important role in modulating the interaction between TFIIB and c-Jun. Although phosphorylation of the c-Jun N-terminal activation domain stimulates c-Jun transcriptional activity in vivo, it has no effect on the ability of c-Jun to interact with either TBP or TFIIB in vitro. These data suggest that the Jun family of activator proteins may activate transcription by interacting with the general transcription factors TBP and TFIIB.
Project description:The human genome is pervasively transcribed, yet only a small fraction is coding. Here we address whether this non-coding transcription arises at promoters, and detail the interactions of initiation factors TATA box binding protein (TBP), transcription factor IIB (TFIIB) and RNA polymerase (Pol) II. Using ChIP-exo (chromatin immunoprecipitation with lambda exonuclease digestion followed by high-throughput sequencing), we identify approximately 160,000 transcription initiation complexes across the human K562 genome, and more in other cancer genomes. Only about 5% associate with messenger RNA genes. The remainder associates with non-polyadenylated non-coding transcription. Regardless, Pol II moves into a transcriptionally paused state, and TBP and TFIIB remain at the promoter. Remarkably, the vast majority of locations contain the four core promoter elements- upstream TFIIB recognition element (BREu), TATA, downstream TFIIB recognition element (BREd), and initiator element (INR)-in constrained positions. All but the INR also reside at Pol III promoters, where TBP makes similar contacts. This comprehensive and high-resolution genome-wide detection of the initiation machinery produces a consolidated view of transcription initiation events from yeast to humans at Pol II/III TATA-containing/TATA-less coding and non-coding genes.