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Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Feb 1;28(3):826-34.

Characterization of Drosophila OVO protein DNA binding specificity using random DNA oligomer selection suggests zinc finger degeneration.

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  • 1Division of Biology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616, USA.

Abstract

The Drosophila melanogaster ovo locus codes for several tissue- and stage-specific proteins that all possess a common C-terminal array of four C(2)H(2)zinc fingers. Three fingers conform to the motif framework and are evolutionarily conserved; the fourth diverges considerably. The ovo genetic function affects germ cell viability, sex identity and oogenesis, while the overlapping svb function is a key selector for epidermal structures under the control of wnt and EGF receptor signaling. We isolated synthetic DNA oligomers bound by the OVO zinc finger array from a high complexity starting population and derived a statistically significant 9 bp long DNA consensus sequence, which is nearly identical to a consensus derived from several Drosophila genes known or suspected of being regulated by the ovo function in vivo. The DNA consensus recognized by Drosophila OVO protein is atypical for zinc finger proteins in that it does not conform to many of the 'rules' for the interaction of amino acid contact residues and DNA bases. Additionally, our results suggest that only three of the OVO zinc fingers contribute to DNA-binding specificity.

PMID:
10637336
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC102545
Free PMC Article

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