Reference: Jacobson EM, et al. (1997) Structure of Pit-1 POU domain bound to DNA as a dimer: unexpected arrangement and flexibility. Genes Dev 11(2):198-212

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Abstract


Pit-1, a member of the POU domain family of transcription factors, characterized by a bipartite DNA-binding domain, serves critical developmental functions based on binding to diverse DNA elements in its target genes. Here we report a high resolution X-ray analysis of the Pit-1 POU domain bound to a DNA element as a homodimer. This analysis reveals that Pit-1 subdomains bind to perpendicular faces of the DNA, rather than opposite faces of the DNA as in Oct-1. This is accomplished by different spacing and orientation of the POU-specific domain. Contrary to previous predictions, the dimerization interface involves the carboxyl terminus of the DNA recognition helix of the homeodomain, which in an extended conformation interacts with specific residues at the amino terminus of helix alpha1 and in the loop between helices alpha3 and alpha4 of the POU-specific domain of the symmetry related monomer. These features suggest the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations in Pit-1 and provide potential basis for the flexible allostery between protein domains and DNA sites in the activation of target genes.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Jacobson EM, Li P, Leon-del-Rio A, Rosenfeld MG, Aggarwal AK
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