National Center for
1WJ2: Solution Structure of the C-terminal WRKY Domain of AtWRKY4
Plant Cell (2005) 17 p.944-956
The WRKY proteins comprise a major family of transcription factors that are essential in pathogen and salicylic acid responses of higher plants as well as a variety of plant-specific reactions. They share a DNA binding domain, designated as the WRKY domain, which contains an invariant WRKYGQK sequence and a CX4-5CX22-23HXH zinc binding motif. Herein, we report the NMR solution structure of the C-terminal WRKY domain of the Arabidopsis thaliana WRKY4 protein. The structure consists of a four-stranded beta-sheet, with a zinc binding pocket formed by the conserved Cys/His residues located at one end of the beta-sheet, revealing a novel zinc and DNA binding structure. The WRKYGQK residues correspond to the most N-terminal beta-strand, kinked in the middle of the sequence by the Gly residue, which enables extensive hydrophobic interactions involving the Trp residue and contributes to the structural stability of the beta-sheet. Based on a profile of NMR chemical shift perturbations, we propose that the same strand enters the DNA groove and forms contacts with the DNA bases.