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Nature. 1995 May 18;375(6528):203-11.

Structural determinants of nuclear receptor assembly on DNA direct repeats.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


Nuclear receptor heterodimers recognize response elements composed of two direct repeats of the consensus sequence 5'-AGGTCA-3' separated by one to five base pairs. The 1.9 A crystal structure of the complex formed by the DNA-binding domains of the 9-cis retinoic acid receptor and thyroid hormone receptor bound to a thyroid-response element shows that the subunits interact through a DNA-supported interface involving the carboxy-terminal extension of the DNA-binding domain of the thyroid hormone receptor. The stereochemistry suggests a mechanism by which heterodimers recognize the inter-half-site spacing between direct repeats.

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