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Plant Mol Biol. 2004 May;55(1):45-59.

Defining subdomains of the K domain important for protein-protein interactions of plant MADS proteins.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.


The MADS proteins APETALA3 (AP3), PISTILLATA (PI), SEPALLATAI (SEPI), SEP2, SEP3, AGAMOUS, and APETALA are required for proper floral organ identity in Arabidopsis flowers. All of these floral MADS proteins conserve two domains: the MADS domain that mediates DNA binding and dimerization, and the K domain that mediates protein protein interaction. The K domain is postulated to form a several amphipathic c-helices referred to as K1, K2, and K3. The K1 and K2 helicies are located entirely within the K domain while the K3 helix spans the K domain-C domain boundary. Here we report on our studies on the interactions of the B class MADS proteins AP3 and PI with the E class MADS proteins SEP1, SEP2, and SEP3. A comparative analysis of mutants in the K domain reveals that the subdomains mediating the PI/AP3 interaction are different from the subdomains mediating the PI/SEP3 (or PI/SEP1) interaction. The strong PI/SEP3 (or PI/SEP1) interaction requires K2, part of K3, and the interhelical region between K1 and K2. By contrast, K1, K2 and the region between K1 and K2 are important for strong AP3/PI interaction. Most of the K3 helix does not appear to be important for either the PI/AP3 or the PI/SEP3 (or PI/SEP1) interaction. Conserved hydrophobic positions are most important for the strength of both PI/AP3 and PI/SEP3 dimerization, though ionic and/or polar interactions appear to play a secondary role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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