Eukaryotic transcription initiation (WP1066)

In eukaryotes, RNA polymerase, and therefore the initiation of transcription, requires the presence of a core promoter sequence in the DNA. RNA polymerase is able to bind to core promoters in the presence of various specific transcription factors. The most common type of core promoter in eukaryotes is a short DNA sequence known as a TATA box. The TATA box, as a core promoter, is the binding site for a transcription factor known as TATA binding protein (TBP), which is itself a subunit of another transcription factor, called Transcription Factor II D (TFIID). After TFIID binds to the TATA box via the TBP, five more transcription factors and RNA polymerase combine around the TATA box in a series of stages to form a preinitiation complex. One transcription factor, DNA helicase, has helicase activity and so is involved in the separating of opposing strands of double-stranded DNA to provide access to a single-stranded DNA template. However, only a low, or basal, rate of transcription is driven by the preinitiation complex alone. Other proteins known as activators and repressors, along with any associated coactivators or corepressors, are responsible for modulating transcription rate. Source: [[wikipedia:Transcription_(genetics)|Wikipedia]]
last edited


MaintBot, Thomas, Christine Chichester, Mkutmon, and Eweitz

Cited In


Bos taurus



Pathway Ontology: RNA polymerase III transcription initiation pathway RNA polymerase II transcription initiation pathway RNA polymerase I transcription initiation pathway


Label Type Compact Identifier
POLR2A GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000046765
POLR3B GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000004781
CDK7 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000011046
GTF2A2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000010298
ILK GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000000696
GTF2F2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000034495
GTF2B GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000000504
POLR2K GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000022539
POLR3K GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000019803
TAF12 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000026660
GTF2H2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000027983
TBP GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000002545
POLR2B GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000019366
POLR2E GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000020776
POLR2C GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000001856
ERCC3 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000020777
POLR3H GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000005311
GTF2H4 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000046757
TAF13 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000031656
POLR1E GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000012243
GTF2H3 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000007270
TAF5 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000009709
POLR2G GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000009483
POLR1B GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000014166
POLR3D GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000010036
ERCC2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000002072
POLR2I GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000015002
GTF2H1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000005160
POLR2J GeneProduct None
TAF6 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000030966
POLR1A GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000006481
GTF2E1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000016848
CCNH GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000009566
POLR3E GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000018044
POLR2H GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000040199
POLR1D GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000008642
AK6 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000046192
MNAT1 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000030801
GTF2E2 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000012691
POLR2F GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000004820
TAF7 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000011945


  1. Lee TI, Young RA. Regulation of gene expression by TBP-associated proteins. Genes Dev. 1998 May 15;12(10):1398–408. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Lemon B, Tjian R. Orchestrated response: a symphony of transcription factors for gene control. Genes Dev. 2000 Oct 15;14(20):2551–69. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia