TATA-box binding protein (IPR000814)

Short name: TBP

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships


The TATA-box binding protein (TBP) is required for the initiation of transcription by RNA polymerases I, II and III, from promoters with or without a TATA box [PMID: 12782648, PMID: 10974559]. TBP associates with a host of factors, including the general transcription factors SL1, TFIIA, -B, -D, -E, and -H, to form huge multi-subunit pre-initiation complexes on the core promoter. Through its association with different transcription factors, TBP can initiate transcription from different RNA polymerases. There are several related TBPs, including TBP-like (TBPL) proteins [PMID: 12878007]. TBP binds directly to the TATA box promoter element, where it nucleates polymerase assembly, thus defining the transcription start site.

The C-terminal core of TBP (~180 residues) is highly conserved and contains two 77-amino acid repeats that produce a saddle-shaped structure that straddles the DNA; this region binds to the TATA box and interacts with transcription factors and regulatory proteins [PMID: 1436073]. By contrast, the N-terminal region varies in both length and sequence.

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006352 DNA-templated transcription, initiation

Molecular Function

GO:0003677 DNA binding

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.