Proper ovarian development requires the cell type-specific transcription factor TAF4b, a subunit of the core promoter recognition complex TFIID. We present the 35 Å structure of a cell type-specific core promoter recognition complex containing TAF4b and TAF4 (4b/4-IID), which is responsible for directing transcriptional synergy between c-Jun and Sp1 at a TAF4b target promoter. As a first step toward correlating potential structure/function relationships of the prototypic TFIID versus 4b/4-IID, we have compared their 3D structures by electron microscopy and single-particle reconstruction. These studies reveal that TAF4b incorporation into TFIID induces an open conformation at the lobe involved in TFIIA and putative activator interactions. Importantly, this open conformation correlates with differential activator-dependent transcription and promoter recognition by 4b/4-IID. By combining functional and structural analysis, we find that distinct localized structural changes in a megadalton macromolecular assembly can significantly alter its activity and lead to a TAF4b-induced reprogramming of promoter specificity.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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