SNAP19 mediates the assembly of a functional core promoter complex (SNAPc) shared by RNA polymerases II and III.
The basal transcription factor SNAPc binds to the PSE, a core element in the RNA polymerase II and III human snRNA promoters. SNAPc contains at least four subunits, but it has not been possible to assemble a fully defined recombinant SNAPc. Here we reconstitute SNAPc from five recombinant subunits, SNAP43, SNAP45, SNAP50, SNAP190, and a newly identified subunit, SNAP19. This recombinant complex binds specifically to the PSE and directs both RNA polymerase II and III snRNA gene transcription. Thus, the same core SNAPc nucleates the assembly of two classes of initiation complexes.