Marked Stepwise Differences within a Common Kinetic Mechanism Characterize TATA-binding Protein Interactions with Two Consensus Promoters

Robyn M. Powell, Kay M. Parkhurst, Michael Brenowitz, Lawrence J. Parkhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Binding of the TATA-binding protein (TBP) to promoter DNA bearing the TATA sequence is an obligatory initial step in RNA polymerase II transcription initiation. The interactions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae TBP with the E4 (TATATATA) and adenovirus major late (TATAAAAG) promoters have been modeled via global analysis of kinetic and thermodynamic data obtained using fluorescence resonance energy transfer. A linear two-intermediate kinetic mechanism describes the reaction of both of these consensus strong promoters with TBP. Qualitative features common to both interactions include tightly bound TBP-DNA complexes with similar solution geometries, simultaneous DNA binding and bending, and the presence of intermediate TBP-DNA conformers at high mole fraction throughout most of the reaction and at equilibrium. Despite very similar energetic changes overall, the stepwise entropic and enthalpic compensations along the two pathways differ markedly following the initial binding/bending event. Furthermore, TBP-E4 dissociation ensues from both replacement and displacement processes, in contrast to replacement alone for TBP-adenovirus major late promoter. A model is proposed that explicitly correlates these similarities and differences with the sequence-specific structural properties inherent to each promoter. This detailed mechanistic comparison of two strong promoters interacting with TBP provides a foundation for subsequent comparison between consensus and variant promoter sequences reacting with TBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29782-29791
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 10 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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