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Proteins. 2003 Jun 1;51(4):544-51.

Insights into nonspecific binding of homeodomains from a structure of MATalpha2 bound to DNA.

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Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2185, USA.


The 2.1-A resolution crystal structure of the MATalpha2 homeodomain bound to DNA reveals the unexpected presence of two nonspecifically bound alpha2 homeodomains, in addition to the two alpha2 homeodomains bound to canonical alpha2 binding sites. One of the extra homeodomains makes few base-specific contacts, while the other extra homeodomain binds to DNA in a previously unobserved manner. This unusually bound homeodomain is rotated on the DNA, making possible major groove contacts by side-chains that normally do not contact the DNA. This alternate docking may represent one way in which homeodomains sample nonspecific DNA sequences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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