In the small, free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii, rRNA transcription requires, in addition to RNA polymerase I, a single DNA-binding factor, transcription initiation factor IB (TIF-IB). TIF-IB is a multimeric protein that contains TATA-binding protein (TBP) and four TBP-associated factors that are specific for polymerase I transcription. TIF-IB is required for accurate and promoter-specific initiation of rRNA transcription, recruiting and positioning the polymerase on the start site by protein-protein interaction. In A. castellanii, partially purified TIF-IB can form a persistent complex with the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) promoter while homogeneous TIF-IB cannot. An additional factor, TIF-IE, is required along with homogeneous TIF-IB for the formation of a stable complex on the rDNA core promoter. We show that TIF-IE by itself, however, does not bind to the rDNA promoter and thus differs in its mechanism from the upstream binding factor and upstream activating factor, which carry out similar complex-stabilizing functions in vertebrates and yeast, respectively. In addition to its presence in impure TIF-IB, TIF-IE is found in highly purified fractions of polymerase I, with which it associates. Renaturation of polypeptides excised from sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels showed that a 141-kDa polypeptide possesses all the known activities of TIF-IE.