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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Dec 30;338(4):1957-65. Epub 2005 Nov 10.

BmCbZ, an insect-specific factor featuring a composite DNA-binding domain, interacts with BmC/EBPgamma.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Athens 15701, Greece.


A novel factor featuring a composite AT hook/basic region-leucine zipper DNA-binding domain was isolated from Bombyx mori follicular cells. Screening of EST databases derived from a variety of metazoans revealed the exclusive presence of BmCbZ homologues in insect species. BmCbZ characteristic features and gene organization are discussed, in comparison to other known bZIP factors. We concordantly propose that this factor establishes a new insect-specific bZIP family. We further present the isolation of the silkmoth homologue of mammalian C/EBPgamma, BmC/EBPgamma, and in vitro evidence for its interaction with BmCbZ. The formation of a BmCbZ-BmC/EBPgamma heterodimer is a prerequisite for binding to specific C/EBP recognition sites on chorion gene promoters, most probably via both major and minor groove interactions.

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