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The gene encoding the Schizosaccharomyces pombe TATA box-binding factor (TFIID) was cloned and sequenced. The gene contains three introns and codes for a polypeptide of 231 amino acids. The cDNA-expressed protein showed both TATA box-binding and basal transcription activities. The carboxy-terminal three-quarters of S. pombe TFIID shares an extraordinary degree of amino acid sequence homology with a corresponding region of Saccharomyces cerevisiae TFIID that has been shown to be necessary and sufficient for TATA box-binding and basal transcription activities. In contrast, the amino-terminal regions of the S. pombe and S. cerevisiae TFIIDs differ markedly in amino acid sequence and composition. Structure and function relationships of TFIID are discussed in light of these data.