General transcription factors (GTFs), also known as basal transcriptional factors, are a class of proteintranscription 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. GTFs are also intimately involved in the process of gene regulation, and most are required for life.
In archaea and eukaryotes, transcription initiation requires an RNA polymerase and a set of multiple GTFs. The Transcription initiation by eukaryotic RNA polymerase II involves the following GTFs: