Kinetic trapping of DNA by transcription factor IIIB

Timothy E. Cloutier, Monett D. Librizzi, A. K.M.M. Mollah, Michael Brenowitz, Ian M. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


High levels of RNA polymerase III gene transcription are achieved by facilitated recycling of the polymerase on transcription factor IIIB (TFIIIB)-DNA complexes that are stable through multiple rounds of initiation. TFIIIB-DNA complexes in yeast comprise the TATA-binding protein (TBP), the TFIIB-related factor TFIIIB70, and TFIIIB90. The high stability of the TFIIIB-DNA complex is conferred by TFIIIB90 binding to TFIIIB70-TBP-DNA complexes. This stability is thought to result from compound bends introduced in the DNA by TBP and TFIIIB90 and by protein-protein interactions that obstruct DNA dissociation. Here we present biochemical evidence that the high stability of TFIIIB-DNA complexes results from kinetic trapping of the DNA. Thermodynamic analysis shows that the free energies of formation of TFIIIB70-TBP-DNA (ΔG° = -12.10 ± 0.12 kcal/mol) and TFIIIB-DNA (ΔG° = -11.90 ± 0.14 kcal/mol) complexes are equivalent whereas a kinetic analysis shows that the half-lives of these complexes (46 ± 3 min and 95 ± 6 min, respectively) differ significantly. The differential stability of these isoenergetic complexes demonstrates that TFIIIB90 binding energy is used to drive conformational changes and increase the barrier to complex dissociation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9581-9586
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 14 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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