Reference: Noel J and Turcotte B (1998) Zinc cluster proteins Leu3p and Uga3p recognize highly related but distinct DNA targets. J Biol Chem 273(28):17463-8

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Abstract

Members of the family of fungal zinc cluster DNA-binding proteins possess 6 highly conserved cysteines that bind to two zinc atoms forming a structure (Zn2Cys6) that is required for recognition of specific DNA sequences. Many zinc cluster proteins have been shown to bind as homodimers to a pair of CGG triplets oriented either as direct (CGG NX CGG), inverted (CGG NX CCG), or everted repeats (CCG NX CGG), where N indicates nucleotides. Variation in the spacing between the CGG triplets also contributes to the diversity of sites recognized. For example, Leu3p binds to the everted sequence CCG N4 CGG with a strict requirement for a 4-base pair spacing. Here, we show that another member of the family, Uga3p, recognizes the same DNA motif as Leu3p. However, these transcription factors have distinct DNA targets. We demonstrate that additional specificity of binding is provided by nucleotides located between the two everted CGG triplets. Altering the 4 nucleotides between to the two everted CGG triplets switches the specificity from a Uga3p site to a Leu3p site in both in vitro and in vivo assays. Thus, our results identify a new mechanism that expands the repertoire of DNA targets of the family of zinc cluster proteins. These experiments provide a model for discrimination between targets of zinc cluster proteins.

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Journal Article
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Noel J, Turcotte B
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