TATA protein tells RNA polymerase where to get started on a gene
through biology and medicine
Geis visualizes the TATA-box binding protein (TBP) and its associated proteins that form a preinitiation complex in all eukaryotes for transcribing DNA to messenger RNA. Acrylic painting in collaboration with Dr. Stephen K. Burley (Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Rockefeller University). Illustration copyright by Irving Geis.
In Geis’ painting, TATA-Binding Protein is depicted in vibrant orange. Geis uses light and shading techniques to highlight this essential piece of the transcription preinitiation complex.
Geis depicts the TATA-Binding Protein sitting on top of the DNA curvature, matching the description of a molecular “saddle.” The DNA strand, colored with a blue backbone and yellow ladder bases, is seen partially unwound where TBP has bound.