Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Molecular Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Localization of TFIIB binding regions using serial analysis of chromatin occupancy

Gregory S Yochum1, Veena Rajaraman2, Ryan Cleland1 and Shannon McWeeney23*

Author Affiliations

1 Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

2 Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

3 Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Division of Biostatistics, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Molecular Biology 2007, 8:102  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-8-102

Published: 12 November 2007



RNA Polymerase II (RNAP II) is recruited to core promoters by the pre-initiation complex (PIC) of general transcription factors. Within the PIC, transcription factor for RNA polymerase IIB (TFIIB) determines the start site of transcription. TFIIB binding has not been localized, genome-wide, in metazoans. Serial analysis of chromatin occupancy (SACO) is an unbiased methodology used to empirically identify transcription factor binding regions. In this report, we use TFIIB and SACO to localize TFIIB binding regions across the rat genome.


A sample of the TFIIB SACO library was sequenced and 12,968 TFIIB genomic signature tags (GSTs) were assigned to the rat genome. GSTs are 20–22 base pair fragments that are derived from TFIIB bound chromatin. TFIIB localized to both non-protein coding and protein-coding loci. For 21% of the 1783 protein-coding genes in this sample of the SACO library, TFIIB binding mapped near the characterized 5' promoter that is upstream of the transcription start site (TSS). However, internal TFIIB binding positions were identified in 57% of the 1783 protein-coding genes. Internal positions are defined as those within an inclusive region greater than 2.5 kb downstream from the 5' TSS and 2.5 kb upstream from the transcription stop. We demonstrate that both TFIIB and TFIID (an additional component of PICs) bound to internal regions using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). The 5' cap of transcripts associated with internal TFIIB binding positions were identified using a cap-trapping assay. The 5' TSSs for internal transcripts were confirmed by primer extension. Additionally, an analysis of the functional annotation of mouse 3 (FANTOM3) databases indicates that internally initiated transcripts identified by TFIIB SACO in rat are conserved in mouse.


Our findings that TFIIB binding is not restricted to the 5' upstream region indicates that the propensity for PIC to contribute to transcript diversity is far greater than previously appreciated.