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Mol Cell Biol. Jan 1995; 15(1): 129–140.
PMCID: PMC231920

DNA-binding specificity of the cut repeats from the human cut-like protein.

Abstract

The Drosophila Cut and mammalian Cut-like proteins contain, in addition to the homeodomain, three other DNA-binding regions called Cut repeats. Cut-like proteins, therefore, belong to a distinct class of homeodomain proteins with multiple DNA-binding domains. In this study, we assessed the DNA-binding specificity of the human Cut repeats by performing PCR-mediated random oligonucleotide selection with glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins. Cut repeat 1, Cut repeat 3, and Cut repeat 3 plus the homeodomain selected related yet distinct sequences. Therefore, sequences selected by one of the fusion proteins were often, but not always, recognized by the other proteins. Consensus binding sites were derived for each fusion protein. In each case, however, some selected sequences diverged from the consensus but were confirmed to be high-affinity recognition sites by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. We conclude that Cut DNA-binding domains have broad, overlapping DNA-binding specificities. Determination of dissociation constants indicated that in addition to the core consensus, flanking sequences have a moderate but significant effect on sequence recognition. Evidence from electrophoretic mobility shift assay, DNase footprinting, and dissociation constant analyses strongly suggested that glutathione S-transferase/Cut fusion proteins bind to DNA as dimers. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the DNA-binding capabilities of Cut repeats. In contrast to other studies, we found that the human Cut-like protein does not preferably bind to a site that includes an ATTA homeodomain-binding motif. Here we demonstrate that the native human Cut-like protein recognizes more efficiently a site containing an ATCGAT core consensus flanked with G/C-rich sequences.

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Selected References

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