Srb/mediator proteins that are associated with RNA polymerase II holoenzyme have been implicated in transcriptional repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show here that the defect in repression of SUC2 caused by mutation of SRB8, SRB9, SRB11, SIN4 or ROX3 is suppressed by increased dosage of the SFL1 gene, and the genetic behavior of the sfl1Delta mutation provides further evidence for a functional relationship. Sfl1 acts on SUC2 through a repression site located immediately 5' to the TATA box, and Sfl1 binds this DNA sequence in vitro. Moreover, LexA-Sfl1 represses transcription of a reporter, and repression is reduced in an srb9 mutant. Finally, we show that Sfl1 co-immunoprecipitates from cell extracts with Srb9, Srb11, Sin4 and Rox3. We propose that Sfl1, when bound to its site, interacts with Srb/mediator proteins to inhibit transcription by RNA polymerase II holoenzyme.
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