We previously defined Saccharomyces cerevisiae TFIID as a 15-subunit complex comprised of the TATA binding protein (TBP) and 14 distinct TBP-associated factors (TAFs). In this report we give a detailed biochemical characterization of this general transcription factor. We have shown that yeast TFIID efficiently mediates both basal and activator-dependent transcription in vitro and displays TATA box binding activity that is functionally distinct from that of TBP. Analyses of the stoichiometry of TFIID subunits indicated that several TAFs are present at more than 1 copy per TFIID complex. This conclusion was further supported by coimmunoprecipitation experiments with a systematic family of (pseudo)diploid yeast strains that expressed epitope-tagged and untagged alleles of the genes encoding TFIID subunits. Based on these data, we calculated a native molecular mass for monomeric TFIID. Purified TFIID behaved in a fashion consistent with this calculated molecular mass in both gel filtration and rate-zonal sedimentation experiments. Quite surprisingly, although the TAF subunits of TFIID cofractionated as a single complex, TBP did not comigrate with the TAFs during either gel filtration chromatography or rate-zonal sedimentation, suggesting that TBP has the ability to dynamically associate with the TFIID TAFs. The results of direct biochemical exchange experiments confirmed this hypothesis. Together, our results represent a concise molecular characterization of the general transcription factor TFIID from S. cerevisiae.