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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heat shock factor increases the reinitiation rate from potentiated chromatin templates.

Transcription by RNA polymerase II is highly regulated at the level of initiation and elongation. Well-documented transcription activation mechanisms, such as the recruitment of TFIID and TFIIB, control the early phases of preinitiation complex formation. The heat shock genes provide an example for transcriptional regulation at a later step: in nuclei TFIID can be detected at the TATA box prior to heat induction. Using cell-free systems for chromatin reconstitution and transcription, we have analyzed the mechanisms by which heat shock factor ( HSF) increases transcription of heat shock genes in chromatin. HSF affected transcription of naked DNA templates in multiple ways: (i) by speeding up the rate of preinitiation complex formation, (ii) by increasing the number of productive templates, and (iii) by increasing the reinitiation rate. Under the more physiological conditions of potentiated chromatin templates, HSF affected only the reinitiation rate. Activator-dependent reinitiation of transcription, obviating the slow assembly of the TFIID-TFIIA complex on a promoter, may be especially crucial for genes requiring a fast response to inducers.[1]


  1. Heat shock factor increases the reinitiation rate from potentiated chromatin templates. Sandaltzopoulos, R., Becker, P.B. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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