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EMBO J. 1993 Feb;12(2):513-25.

Recognition of the Xenopus ribosomal core promoter by the transcription factor xUBF involves multiple HMG box domains and leads to an xUBF interdomain interaction.

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Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie, Université Laval, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Canada.


The interaction of the ribosomal transcription factor xUBF with the RNA polymerase I core promoter of Xenopus laevis has been studied both at the DNA and protein levels. It is shown that a single xUBF-DNA complex forms over the 40S initiation site (+1) and involves at least the DNA sequences between -20 and +60 bp. DNA sequences upstream of +10 and downstream of +18 are each sufficient to direct complex formation independently. HMG box 1 of xUBF independently recognizes the sequences -20 to -1 and +1 to +22 and the addition of the N-terminal dimerization domain to HMG box 1 stabilizes its interaction with these sequences approximately 10-fold. HMG boxes 2/3 interact with the DNA downstream of +22 and can independently position xUBF across the initiation site. The C-terminal segment of xUBF, HMG boxes 4, 5 or the acidic domain, directly or indirectly interact with HMG box 1, making the core promoter sequences between -11 and -15 hypersensitive to DNase. This interaction also requires the DNA sequences between +17 and +32, i.e. the HMG box 2/3 binding site. The data suggest extensive folding of the core promoter within the xUBF complex.

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