The embryonic transcription factor stage specific activator protein contains a potent bipartite activation domain that interacts with several RNA polymerase II basal transcription factors

Jeffery Defalco, Geoffrey Childs

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11 Scopus citations


Stage specific activator protein (SSAP) is a member of a newly discovered class of transcription factors that contain motifs more commonly found in RNA-binding proteins. Previously, we have shown that SSAP specifically binds to its recognition sequence in both the double strand and the single strand form and that this DNA-binding activity is localized to the N-terminal RNA recognition motif domain. Three copies of this recognition sequence constitute an enhancer element that is directly responsible for directing the transcriptional activation of the sea urchin late histone H1 gene at the midblastula stage of embryogenesis. Here we show that the remainder of the SSAP polypeptide constitutes an extremely potent bipartite transcription activation domain that can function in a variety of mammalian cell lines. This activity is as much as 3 to 5 times stronger than VP16 at activating transcription and requires a large stretch of amino acids that contain glutamine-glycine rich and serine-threonine-basic amino acid rich regions. We present evidence that SSAP's activation domain shares targets that are also necessary for activation by E1a and VP16. Finally, SSAP's activation domain is found to participate in specific interactions in vitro with the basal transcription factors TATA-binding protein, TFIIB, TFIIF74, and dTAF11 110.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5802-5807
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 1996


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