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Reference: Johnson PF (1993) Identification of C/EBP basic region residues involved in DNA sequence recognition and half-site spacing preference. Mol Cell Biol 13(11):6919-30

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Abstract

C/EBP and GCN4 are basic region-leucine zipper (bZIP) DNA-binding proteins that recognize the dyad-symmetric sequences ATTGCGCAAT and ATGAGTCAT, respectively. The sequence specificities of these and other bZIP proteins are determined by their alpha-helical basic regions, which are related at the primary sequence level. To identify amino acids that are responsible for the different DNA sequence specificities of C/EBP and GCN4, two kinds of hybrid proteins were constructed: GCN4-C/EBP chimeras fused at various positions in the basic region and substitution mutants in which GCN4 basic region amino acids were replaced by the corresponding residues from C/EBP. On the basis of the DNA-binding characteristics of these hybrid proteins, three residues that contribute significantly to the differences in C/EBP and GCN4 binding specificity were defined. These residues are clustered along one face of the basic region alpha helix. Two of these specificity residues were not identified as DNA-contacting amino acids in a recently reported crystal structure of a GCN4-DNA complex, suggesting that the residues used by C/EBP and GCN4 to make base contacts are not identical. A random binding site selection procedure also was used to define the optimal recognition sequences for three of the GCN4-C/EBP fusion proteins. These experiments identify an element spanning the hinge region between the basic region and leucine zipper domains that dictates optimal half-site spacing (either directly abutted for C/EBP or overlapping by one base pair for GCN4) in high-affinity binding sites for these two proteins.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. | Comparative Study
Authors
Johnson PF
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