Although atomic-resolution crystal structures of the conserved C-terminal domain of several species of TBP and their complexes with DNA have been determined, little information is available concerning the structure in solution of full-length TBP containing both the conserved C-terminal and nonconserved N-terminal domains. Quantitation of the amino acid side chain oxidation products generated by synchrotron X-ray radiolysis by mass spectrometry has been used to determine the solvent accessibility of individual residues in monomeric Saccharomyces cerevisiae TATA binding protein (TBP) free in solution and in the TBP-DNA complex. Amino acid side chains within the C-terminal domain of unliganded full-length TBP that are predicted to be accessible from crystal structures of the isolated domain are protected from oxidation. Residues within the N-terminal domain are also protected from oxidation in both the absence and presence of DNA. Some residues within the DNA-binding "saddle" of the C-terminal domain are protected upon formation of a TBP-DNA complex as expected, while others are protected in both the absence and presence of bound DNA. In addition, residues on the upper side of the β-sheets undergo reactivity changes as a function of DNA binding. These data suggest that the DNA-binding saddle of monomeric unliganded yeast TBP is only partially accessible to solvent, the N-terminal domain is partially structured, and the N- and C-terminal domains form a different set of contacts in the free and DNA-bound protein. The functional implications of these results are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas