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Nucleic Acids Res. 1986 Nov 25;14(22):9117-32.

Analysis of nuclear factor I binding to DNA using degenerate oligonucleotides.


Nuclear factor I (NFI) binds tightly to DNA containing the consensus sequence TGG(N)6-7GCCAA. To study the role of the spacing between the TGG and GCCAA motifs, oligonucleotides homologous to the NFI binding site FIB-2 were synthesized and used for binding assays in vitro. The wild-type site (FIB-2.6) has a 6bp spacer region and binds tightly to NFI. When the size of this spacer was altered by +/- 1 or 2bp the binding to NFI was abolished. To further assess the role of the spacer and bases flanking the motifs, two oligonucleotide libraries were synthesized. Each member of these libraries had intact TGG and GCCAA motifs, but the sequence of the spacer and the 3bp next to each motif was degenerate. The library with a 6bp spacer bound to NFI to 40-50% the level of FIB-2.6. The library with a 7bp spacer bound to NFI to only 4% the level of FIB-2.6 and some of this binding was weaker than that of FIB-2.6 DNA. This novel use of degenerate DNA libraries has shown that: 1) the structural requirements for FIB sites with a 7bp spacer are more stringent than for sites with a 6bp spacer and 2) a limited number of DNA structural features can prevent the binding of NFI to sites with intact motifs and a 6bp spacer region.

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