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FEBS Lett. 1999 Jul 9;454(3):283-7.

Biochemical characterization of recombinant polypeptides corresponding to the predicted betaalphaalpha fold in Aux/IAA proteins.

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Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California-Davis, 95616, USA.


The plant hormone indoleacetic acid (IAA or auxin) transcriptionally activates a select set of early genes. The Aux/IAA class of early auxin-responsive genes encodes a large family of short-lived, nuclear proteins. Aux/IAA polypeptides homo- and heterodimerize, and interact with auxin-response transcription factors (ARFs) via C-terminal regions conserved in both protein families. This shared region contains a predicted betaalphaalpha motif similar to the prokaryotic beta-ribbon DNA binding domain, which mediates both protein dimerization and DNA recognition. Here, we show by circular dichroism spectroscopy and by chemical cross-linking experiments that recombinant peptides corresponding to the predicted betaalphaalpha region of three Aux/IAA proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana contain substantial alpha-helical secondary structure and undergo homo- and heterotypic interactions in vitro. Our results indicate a similar biochemical function of the plant betaalphaalpha domain and suggest that the betaalphaalpha fold plays an important role in mediating combinatorial interactions of Aux/IAA and ARF proteins to specifically regulate secondary gene expression in response to auxin.

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