The transcriptlonal potential of the hsp70 heat shock gene promoter is established prior to induction by stress. It has been shown previously that the TBP subunit of TFIID is associated with the TATA element and that RNA polymerase II Is paused downstream from the transcription start site. In order to identify new interactions involved In establishing this potentiated state, a detailed analysis of the molecular architecture of a single copy of the hsp70 promoter was performed. A suitably marked promoter was stably Integrated using P-element-mediated transformation so as to overcome any ambiguity that might be associated with analyzing the five copies of the endogenous gene. Genomic footprinting using DNase I revealed two previously unidentified interactions. First, the GAGA element located at -120 is protected by protein. Secondly, the pattern of DNase I cleavage in the vicinity of the transcription start is found to bear significant similarity to the pattern associated with binding of purified TFIID. Noting that purified GAGA factor and TFIID interact similarly with the hsp70 and H3 promoters, the architecture of the endogenous H3 promoter was analyzed to determine what interactions might be needed to establish a potentiated state containing a paused polymerase. Despite the detection of TFIID and GAGA on the H3 promoter, no paused polymerase is evident. In addition, no proteins appear to interact with the transcription start. These results suggest that the GAGA factor and TFIID are not sufficient to establish a potentiated state containing paused polymerase and that TFIID interactions downstream from the TATA element could be important for pausing.
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