The snRNA gene transcription factor, SBF/Staf, is a bifunctional activator - Role in mRNA gene activation

 

Investigators:

The zinc finger transcription factor, SBF/Staf, was identified through its role as an enhancer-binding protein for small RNA gene promoters, such as the human U6 snRNA promoters and the Xenopus selenocysteine tRNA gene promoter. Surprisingly, this protein is a potent activator for pol II-transcribed mRNA gene promoters. Different "domains" of SBF/Staf direct activation of snRNA vs. mRNA gene transcription (http://www.tamu.edu/classes/bich/kunkel/SBFactregions.jpg)

A novel 15-amino acid repeat (4 copies) underlies the mRNA activation function of SBF/Staf. We are beginning experiments to uncover the mechanism of transcriptional stimulation by this intriguing protein using the following methods: