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Genes Dev. 1995 Apr 15;9(8):984-94.

A STAT protein domain that determines DNA sequence recognition suggests a novel DNA-binding domain.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Stat1 and Stat3 are two members of the ligand-activated transcription factor family that serve the dual functions of signal transducers and activators of transcription. Whereas the two proteins select very similar (not identical) optimum binding sites from random oligonucleotides, differences in their binding affinity were readily apparent with natural STAT-binding sites. To take advantage of these different affinities, chimeric Stat1:Stat3 molecules were used to locate the amino acids that could discriminate a general binding site from a specific binding site. The amino acids between residues approximately 400 and approximately 500 of these approximately 750-amino-acid-long proteins determine the DNA-binding site specificity. Mutations within this region result in Stat proteins that are activated normally by tyrosine phosphorylation and that dimerize but have greatly reduced DNA-binding affinities.

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