Transcription Activation Domains of the Yeast Factors Met4 and Ino2: Tandem Activation Domains with Properties Similar to the Yeast Gcn4 Activator.

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Molecular and cellular biology


intrinsically disordered protein; transcription activator; transcriptional regulation


Eukaryotic transcription activation domains (ADs) are intrinsically disordered polypeptides that typically interact with coactivator complexes, leading to stimulation of transcription initiation, elongation, and chromatin modifications. Here we examined the properties of two strong and conserved yeast ADs: Met4 and Ino2. Both factors have tandem ADs that were identified by conserved sequence and functional studies. While the AD function of both factors depended on hydrophobic residues, Ino2 further required key conserved acidic and polar residues for optimal function. Binding studies showed that the ADs bound multiple Med15 activator-binding domains (ABDs) with similar orders of micromolar affinity and similar but distinct thermodynamic properties. Protein cross-linking data show that no unique complex was formed upon Met4-Med15 binding. Rather, we observed heterogeneous AD-ABD contacts with nearly every possible AD-ABD combination. Many of these properties are similar to those observed with yeast activator Gcn4, which forms a large heterogeneous, dynamic, and fuzzy complex with Med15. We suggest that this molecular behavior is common among eukaryotic activators.


Institute for Systems Biology