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Elongin is a transcription elongation factor that was first identified in mammalian systems and is composed of the three subunits, elongin A, B, and C. Sequence homologues of elongin A and elongin C, but not elongin B, were identified in the yeast genome. Neither yeast elongin A nor C sequence homologues was required for cell viability. The two gene products could be purified from yeast as a complex. A recombinant form of the complex, which could only be produced in bacteria if the gene products were co-expressed, was purified over several chromatographic steps. The complex did not stimulate transcription elongation by yeast RNA polymerase II. Using limited proteolysis, the N-terminal 144 residues of yeast elongin A were shown to be sufficient for interaction with yeast elongin C. The purified complex of yeast elongin C/elongin A(1-143) was analyzed using circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic spectroscopy. These studies revealed that yeast elongin A is unfolded but undergoes a dramatic modification of its structure in the presence of elongin C, and that elongin C forms a stable dimer in the absence of elongin A.