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Biochemistry. 1991 Feb 5;30(5):1310-7.

Solution structure of the basic region from the transcriptional activator GCN4.

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  • 1Merrell Dow Research Institute, Strasbourg, France.


The structure of the basic region (i.e., the region responsible for sequence-specific binding to DNA) of the transcriptional activator GCN4 was studied. Two peptide fragments containing either the basic region alone (residues 240-280) or the basic and the dimerization leucine zipper domains (220-280) were synthesized and investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance and circular dichroic spectroscopy. The basic region in the absence of DNA appears as a mobile flexible segment folded into a loose helix. The helical stability increases upon addition of trifluoroethanol and/or lowering of the temperature. Dimerization via the leucine zipper does not affect the three-dimensional structure of the basic region. Possible consequences for the binding to DNA are discussed.

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