Trajectory of DNA in the RNA polymerase II transcription preinitiation complex

Tae Kyung Kim, Thierry Lagrange, Yuh Hwa Wang, Jack D. Griffith, Danny Reinberg, Richard H. Ebright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


By using site-specific protein-DNA photocrosslinking, we define the positions of TATA-binding protein, transcription factor IIB, transcription factor IIF, and subunits of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) relative to promoter DNA within the human transcription preinitiation complex. The results indicate that the interface between the largest and second-largest subunits of RNAPII forms an extended, ≃240 channel that interacts with promoter DNA both upstream and downstream of the transcription start. By using electron microscopy, we show that RNAPII compacts promoter DNA by the equivalent of ≃50 bp. Together with the published structure of RNAPII, the results indicate that RNAPII wraps DNA around its surface and suggest a specific model for the trajectory of the wrapped DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12268-12273
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 11 1997


  • DNA bending
  • DNA compaction
  • DNA wrapping
  • Electron microscopy
  • Protein-DNA photocrosslinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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