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The transcription factor TFIID, composed of the TATA box-binding protein (TBP) and 14 TBP-associated factors (TAFs), plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression by RNA polymerase II. The structure of yeast TFIID, as determined by electron microscopy and digital image analysis, is formed by three lobes, labelled A-C, connected by thin linking domains. Immunomapping revealed that TFIID contains two copies of the WD-40 repeat-containing TAF5 and that TAF5 contributes to the linkers since its C- and N-termini were found in different lobes. This property was confirmed by the finding that a recombinant complex containing TAF5 complexed with six histone fold containing TAFs was able to form a trilobed structure. Moreover, the N-terminal domain of TAF1 was mapped in lobe C, whereas the histone acetyltransferase domain resides in lobe A along with TAF7. TBP was found in the linker domain between lobes A and C in a way that the N-terminal 100 residues of TAF1 are spanned over it. The implications of these data with regard to TFIID function are discussed.