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Mol Cell. 1999 Jul;4(1):63-73.

A conserved motif present in a class of helix-loop-helix proteins activates transcription by direct recruitment of the SAGA complex.

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Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.


The class I helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins, which include E2A, HEB, and E2-2, have been shown to be required for lineage-specific gene expression during T and B lymphocyte development. Additionally, the E2A proteins function to regulate V(D)J recombination, possibly by allowing access of variable region segments to the recombination machinery. The mechanisms by which E2A regulates transcription and recombination, however, are largely unknown. Here, we identify a novel motif, LDFS, present in the vertebrate class I HLH proteins as well as in a yeast HLH protein that is essential for transactivation. We provide both genetic and biochemical evidence that the highly conserved LDFS motif stimulates transcription by direct recruitment of the SAGA histone acetyltransferase complex.

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