The recruitment of TATA box-binding protein (TBP) to promoters is one of the rate-limiting steps during transcription initiation. However, the global importance of TBP recruitment in determining the absolute and changing levels of transcription across the genome is not known. We used a genomic approach to explore the relationship between TBP recruitment to promoters and global gene expression profiles in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our data indicate that first, RNA polymerase III promoters are the most prominent binding targets of TBP in vivo. Second, the steady-state transcript levels of genes throughout the genome are proportional to the occupancy of their promoters by TBP, and changes in the expression levels of these genes are closely correlated with changes in TBP recruitment to their promoters. Third, a consensus TATA element does not appear to be a major determinant of either TBP binding or gene expression throughout the genome. Our results indicate that the recruitment of TBP to promoters in vivo is of universal importance in determining gene expression levels in yeast, regardless of the nature of the core promoter or the type of activator or repressor that may mediate changes in transcription. The primary data reported here are available a
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