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Plant Mol Biol. 2002 Jul;49(5):503-14.

KAP-2, a protein that binds to the H-box in a bean chalcone synthase promoter, is a novel plant transcription factor with sequence identity to the large subunit of human Ku autoantigen.

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Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.


The KAP-2 protein that binds to the H-box (CCTACC) element in the bean CHS15 chalcone synthase promoter was purified, and internal peptide sequence used to design primers leading to the cloning of KAP-2 from bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and barrel medic (Medicago truncatula). KAP-2 shares sequence similarity to the large subunit of mammalian Ku autoantigen, a protein proposed to be involved in control of DNA recombination and transcription. KAP-2 sequences were present in genomic DNA from a range of legumes, and a related protein is found in Arabidopsis thaliana. Recombinant KAP-2 expressed in insect cells showed the same binding specificity for the CHS15 H-box as the protein purified from bean cell extracts. In vitro transcription assays confirmed that KAP-2 stimulates transcription from a promoter harboring the H-box cis element.

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