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EMBO Rep. 2010 Nov;11(11):848-53. doi: 10.1038/embor.2010.155. Epub 2010 Oct 15.

Crystal structure of zinc-finger domain of Nanos and its functional implications.

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  • 1Graduate School of Nanobioscience, Yokohama City University, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.


Nanos is an RNA-binding protein that is involved in the development and maintenance of germ cells. In combination with Pumilio, Nanos binds to the 3' untranslated region of a messenger RNA and represses its translation. Nanos has two conserved Cys-Cys-His-Cys zinc-finger motifs that are indispensable for its function. In this study, we have determined the crystal structure of the zinc-finger domain of zebrafish Nanos, for the first time revealing that Nanos adopts a novel zinc-finger structure. In addition, Nanos has a conserved basic surface that is directly involved in RNA binding. Our results provide the structural basis for further studies to clarify Nanos function.

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