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PLoS One. 2009 Oct 20;4(10):e7274. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007274.

Structural studies of a four-MBT repeat protein MBTD1.

Author information

1
Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins is a family of important developmental regulators. The respective members function as large protein complexes involved in establishment and maintenance of transcriptional repression of developmental control genes. MBTD1, Malignant Brain Tumor domain-containing protein 1, is one such PcG protein. MBTD1 contains four MBT repeats.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We have determined the crystal structure of MBTD1 (residues 130-566aa covering the 4 MBT repeats) at 2.5 A resolution by X-ray crystallography. The crystal structure of MBTD1 reveals its similarity to another four-MBT-repeat protein L3MBTL2, which binds lower methylated lysine histones. Fluorescence polarization experiments confirmed that MBTD1 preferentially binds mono- and di-methyllysine histone peptides, like L3MBTL1 and L3MBTL2. All known MBT-peptide complex structures characterized to date do not exhibit strong histone peptide sequence selectivity, and use a "cavity insertion recognition mode" to recognize the methylated lysine with the deeply buried methyl-lysine forming extensive interactions with the protein while the peptide residues flanking methyl-lysine forming very few contacts [1]. Nevertheless, our mutagenesis data based on L3MBTL1 suggested that the histone peptides could not bind to MBT repeats in any orientation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The four MBT repeats in MBTD1 exhibits an asymmetric rhomboid architecture. Like other MBT repeat proteins characterized so far, MBTD1 binds mono- or dimethylated lysine histones through one of its four MBT repeats utilizing a semi-aromatic cage.

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PMID:
19841675
PMCID:
PMC2747274
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0007274
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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