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Nature. 1989 Jul 13;340(6229):163-6.

COUP transcription factor is a member of the steroid receptor superfamily.

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Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


The COUP (chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter) transcription factor (COUP-TF) exists in a number of different tissues and is essential for expression of the chicken ovalbumin gene. It binds to the ovalbumin promoter and, in conjunction with a second protein (S300-II), stimulates initiation of transcription in vitro. COUP-TF also binds specifically to the rat insulin promoter element, although the two binding sites share little sequence similarity. Here we report the isolation of a human complementary DNA clone encoding COUP-TF. Comparison of the amino-acid sequence of COUP-TF with known sequences reveals that it is a member of the steroid/thyroid hormone/vitamin receptor superfamily. Consequently, it is the first member of this family that has been shown to function in a cell-free transcription system. We conclude that this superfamily of gene regulators contains proteins which bind and activate distal promoter elements of eukaryotic genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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