We have identified a component of the eukaryotic RNA polymerase II transcriptional machinery that is more heat-labile than TFIID. DHFR transcriptional activity was severely reduced in 40 degrees C heat-treated extracts in which TFIID was fully active. This heat-labile activity was required for the transcription of both TATA box and non-TATA box promoters that are activated by the transcription factor Sp1. Gel mobility shifts indicated that Sp1 DNA binding activity was heat-labile, and the addition of purified Sp1 to 40 degrees C heat-treated extracts fully restored DHFR transcriptional activity. In contrast, the addition of Sp1 to 47 degrees C heat-treated extract did not result in transcriptional activity from the DHFR promoter. We conclude that reduction in Sp1 DNA binding activity is partially responsible for the heat-sensitive loss of DHFR transcriptional activity, but that a second essential activity is also inactivated by 47 degrees C heat-treatment. The discovery of this heat-labile component of Sp1 activation has two important implications in the analysis of transcriptional regulation. First, it demonstrates that heat-treated extracts are not appropriate for examination of the involvement of TFIID in the transcription of Sp1-activated promoters. Second, it explains the previously reported low-temperature optima for transcription from the DHFR promoter and demonstrates that transcriptional studies of Sp1-activated promoters should not be performed at 30 degrees C.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - May 1991|
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