National Center for
3VD2: Structure Of P73 Dna Binding Domain Tetramer Modulates P73 Transactivation
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2012) 109 p.6066-6071
The transcription factor p73 triggers developmental pathways and overlaps stress-induced p53 transcriptional pathways. How p53-family response elements determine and regulate transcriptional specificity remains an unsolved problem. In this work, we have determined the first crystal structures of p73 DNA-binding domain tetramer bound to response elements with spacers of different length. The structure and function of the adaptable tetramer are determined by the distance between two half-sites. The structures with zero and one base-pair spacers show compact p73 DNA-binding domain tetramers with large tetramerization interfaces; a two base-pair spacer results in DNA unwinding and a smaller tetramerization interface, whereas a four base-pair spacer hinders tetramerization. Functionally, p73 is more sensitive to spacer length than p53, with one base-pair spacer reducing 90% of transactivation activity and longer spacers reducing transactivation to basal levels. Our results establish the quaternary structure of the p73 DNA-binding domain required as a scaffold to promote transactivation.