A number of transcriptional coactivator proteins have been identified as histone acetyltransferase (HAT) proteins, providing a direct molecular basis for the coupling of histone acetylation and transcriptional activation. The yeast Spt-Ada-Gcn5-acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex requires the coactivator protein Gcn5 for HAT activity. Identification of protein subunits by mass spectrometry and immunoblotting revealed that the TATA binding protein-associated factors (TAF(II)s) TAF(II)90, -68/61, -60, -25/23, and -20/17 are integral components of this complex. In addition, TAF(II)68 was required for both SAGA-dependent nucleosomal HAT activity and transcriptional activation from chromatin templates in vitro. These results illustrate a role for certain TAF(II) proteins in the regulation of gene expression at the level of chromatin modification that is distinct from the TFIID complex and TAF(II)145.
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