Eukaryotic transcription initiation (WP405)

Homo sapiens

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]]) Pathway source:


Nathan Salomonis , Martijn Van Iersel , Alex Pico , Laura Van Zon , Kristina Hanspers , Thomas Kelder , Marianthi Kalafati , Eric Weitz , and Egon Willighagen


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Homo sapiens



Pathway Ontology

RNA polymerase I transcription initiation pathway RNA polymerase II transcription initiation pathway RNA polymerase III transcription initiation pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
POLR2A GeneProduct ncbigene:5430
POLR3B GeneProduct ncbigene:55703
CDK7 GeneProduct ncbigene:1022
GTF2A2 GeneProduct ncbigene:2958
ILK GeneProduct ncbigene:3611
GTF2F2 GeneProduct ncbigene:2963
GTF2B GeneProduct ncbigene:2959
POLR2K GeneProduct ncbigene:5440
POLR3K GeneProduct ncbigene:51728
TAF12 GeneProduct ncbigene:6883
GTF2H2 GeneProduct ncbigene:2966
TBP GeneProduct ncbigene:6908
POLR2B GeneProduct ncbigene:5431
POLR2E GeneProduct ncbigene:5434
POLR2C GeneProduct ncbigene:5432
ERCC3 GeneProduct ncbigene:2071
POLR3H GeneProduct ncbigene:171568
GTF2H4 GeneProduct ncbigene:2968
TAF13 GeneProduct ncbigene:6884
Polr1e GeneProduct ncbigene:64425
GTF2H3 GeneProduct ncbigene:2967
TAF5 GeneProduct ncbigene:6877
POLR2G GeneProduct ncbigene:5436
POLR1B GeneProduct ncbigene:84172
POLR3D GeneProduct ncbigene:661
ERCC2 GeneProduct ncbigene:2068
POLR2I GeneProduct ncbigene:5438
GTF2H1 GeneProduct ncbigene:2965
POLR2J GeneProduct ncbigene:5439
TAF6 GeneProduct ncbigene:6878
POLR1A GeneProduct ncbigene:25885
GTF2E1 GeneProduct ncbigene:2960
CCNH GeneProduct ncbigene:902
POLR3E GeneProduct ncbigene:55718
POLR2H GeneProduct ncbigene:5437
POLR1D GeneProduct ncbigene:51082
TAF9 GeneProduct ncbigene:6880
MNAT1 GeneProduct ncbigene:4331
GTF2E2 GeneProduct ncbigene:2961
POLR2F GeneProduct ncbigene:5435
TAF7 GeneProduct ncbigene:6879


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