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J Biol Chem. 2007 Dec 7;282(49):35899-909. Epub 2007 Sep 28.

Structure-function analysis of mouse Pur beta II. Conformation altering mutations disrupt single-stranded DNA and protein interactions crucial to smooth muscle alpha-actin gene repression.

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  • 1Departments of Biochemistry and Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA.

Abstract

Previous studies from our laboratories have implicated two members of the Pur family of single-stranded DNA/RNA-binding proteins, Pur alpha and Pur beta, in transcriptional repression of the smooth muscle alpha-actin gene in vascular cell types. Although Pur alpha and Pur beta share substantial sequence homology and nucleic acid binding properties, genomic promoter and cis-element occupancy studies reported herein suggest that Pur beta is the dominant factor in gene regulation. To dissect the molecular basis of Pur beta repressor activity, site-directed mutagenesis was used to map amino acids critical to the physical and functional interaction of Pur beta with the smooth muscle alpha-actin promoter. Of all the various acidic, basic, and aromatic residues studied, mutation of positionally conserved arginines in the class I or class II repeat modules significantly attenuated Pur beta repressor activity in transfected vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts. DNA binding and protein-protein interaction assays were conducted with purified recombinant Pur beta and selected mutants to reveal the physical basis for loss-of-function. Mutants R57E, R57E/R96E, and R57A/R96A each exhibited reduced single-stranded DNA binding affinity for an essential promoter element and diminished interaction with corepressor YB-1/MSY1. Structural analyses of the R57A/R96A and R57E/R96E double mutants in comparison to the wild-type Pur beta homodimer revealed aberrant self-association into higher order oligomeric complexes, which correlated with decreased alpha-helical content and defective DNA and protein binding in vitro. These findings point to a previously unrecognized structural role for certain core arginine residues in forming a conformationally stable Pur beta protein capable of physical interactions necessary for smooth muscle alpha-actin gene repression.

PMID:
17906292
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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