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EMBO J. 1995 Feb 15;14(4):791-800.

Purification of the sequence-specific transcription factor CTCBF, involved in the control of human collagen IV genes: subunits with homology to Ku antigen.

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Abteilung Bindegewebsforschung, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany.


The common promoter region of the human collagen type IV genes COL4A1 and COL4A2 comprises a C5TC7 sequence ('CTC box') which is specifically recognized by the recently identified transcription factor CTC box binding factor (CTCBF) involved in the control of divergent transcription of the two genes. This factor has now been purified by affinity chromatography on heparin-agarose and CTC-Sepharose. The CTCBF contains two subunits, CTC75 and CTC85, with molecular weights of 75 and 85 kDa, respectively. Sequence analysis of LysC-derived peptides of the two subunits revealed identity or close homology to p70 and p80 subunits of the human autoantigen Ku. The sequence-specific binding CTCBF represents a presumably tetrameric complex composed of two CTC75/85 heterodimers with an apparent molecular weight of 360-400 kDa. UV crosslinking experiments, the use of Ku-specific antibodies in gel retardation assays and immunoblotting proved that both subunits are involved in sequence-specific interaction with the CTC box motif. The tetrameric complex dissociates in a concentration-dependent manner to CTC75/85 heterodimers which now bind sequence independently to DNA. Three lines of evidence indicate that TATA binding protein (TBP) is additionally involved in the formation of CTCBF: (i) TBP can be detected in purified CTCBF; (ii) the addition of recombinant TBP stimulates formation of the CTCBF-DNA complex; and (iii) antibodies directed against TBP interfere strongly with the formation of the specific protein-DNA complex. The results presented support the idea that the subunits CTC75 and CTC85 (identical or homologous to p70 and p80 of the Ku antigen) are integral parts of CTCBF, and give a first indication of the importance of TBP in the formation of CTCBF.

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