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The general transcription factor IID is a key player in the early events of gene expression. TFIID is a multisubunit complex composed of the TATA binding protein and at least 13 TBP associated factors (TAfs) which recognize the promoter of protein coding genes in an activator dependant way. This review highlights recent findings on the molecular architecture and dynamics of TFIID. The structural analysis of functional transcription complexes formed by TFIID, TFIIA, activators and/or promoter DNA illuminates the faculty of TFIID to adjust to various promoter architectures and highlights its role as a platform for preinitiation complex assembly.
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