Gene transcriptions/General factors

General transcription factors (GTFs), also known as basal transcriptional factors, are a class of protein transcription factors that bind to specific sites on DNA to activate transcription. GTFs, RNA polymerase, and the mediator multiple protein complex constitute the basic transcriptional apparatus.[1]

The diagram illustrates the big picture of how general transcription factors complement transcription. Credit: Development Biologists.


This guinea pig has gorgeous long hair and was a prize winner at the Puyallup, WA fair. Credit: Christine from Washington State, USA.

Genetics involves the expression, transmission, and variation of inherited characteristics.

Def. a "branch of biology that deals with the transmission and variation of inherited characteristics, in particular chromosomes and DNA"[2] is called genetics.

Gene transcriptions


DNA is a double helix of interlinked nucleotides surrounded by an epigenome. On the basis of biochemical signals, an enzyme, specifically a ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase, is chemically bonded to one of the strands (the template strand) of this double helix. The polymerase, once phosphorylated, begins to catalyze the formation of RNA using the template strand. Although the catalysis may have more than one beginning nucleotide (a start site) and more than one ending nucleotide (a stop site) along the DNA, each nucleotide sequence catalyzed that ultimately produces approximately the same RNA is part of a gene. The catalysis of each RNA representation from the template DNA is a transcription, specifically a gene transcription. The overall process is also referred to as gene transcription.

General factors

In the middle part of the image above the promoter, the pink spheres represent the general transcription factors. Credit: Kelvinsong.

Def. "something that actively contributes to the production of a result"[3] is called a factor.

Here's a theoretical definition:

Def. a factor that actively or passively contributes to the production of any result is called a general factor.

Gene ID: 2959 GTF2B general transcription factor IIB "encodes the general transcription factor IIB, one of the ubiquitous factors required for transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II. The protein localizes to the nucleus where it forms a complex (the DAB complex) with transcription factors IID and IIA. Transcription factor IIB serves as a bridge between IID, the factor which initially recognizes the promoter sequence, and RNA polymerase II."[4]

Theoretical general transcription factors


Here's a theoretical definition:

Def. a transcription factor that binds to any site or to a specific site on DNA to activate, moderate, regulate, or modulate transcription is called a general transcription factor (GTF).


  1. GTFs contribute to the transcription of A1BG.

See also



  1. Pierce, Benjamin A. 2002. Genetics : A Conceptual Approach. 1st ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Co. pg. 367-369.
  2. genetics. San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. April 16, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  3. Philip B. Gove, ed (1963). Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Company. pp. 1221. 
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information (8 April 2018). GTF2B general transcription factor IIB (Homo sapiens (human)). Bethesda, MD, USA: U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 2018-04-27.