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Nature. 1993 Oct 7;365(6446):520-7.

Co-crystal structure of TBP recognizing the minor groove of a TATA element.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021.


The three-dimensional structure of a TATA-box binding polypeptide complexed with the TATA element of the adenovirus major late promoter has been determined by X-ray crystallography at 2.25 A resolution. Binding of the saddle-shaped protein induces a conformational change in the DNA, inducing sharp kinks at either end of the sequence TATAAAAG. Between the kinks, the right-handed double helix is smoothly curved and partially unwound, presenting a widened minor groove to TBP's concave, antiparallel beta-sheet. Side-chain/base interactions are restricted to the minor groove, and include hydrogen bonds, van der Waals contacts and phenylalanine-base stacking interactions.

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