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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jul 9;93(14):6881-5.

High mobility group I(Y)-like DNA-binding domains on a bacterial transcription factor.

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  • 1Departamento de Genética y Microbiología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain.


The bacterium Myxococcus xanthus responds to blue light by producing carotenoids. It also responds to starvation conditions by developing fruiting bodies, where the cells differentiate into myxospores. Each response entails the transcriptional activation of a separate set of genes. However, a single gene, carD, is required for the activation of both light- and starvation-inducible genes. Gene carD has now been sequenced. Its predicted amino acid sequence includes four repeats of a DNA-binding domain present in mammalian high mobility group I(Y) proteins and other nuclear proteins from animals and plants. Other peptide stretches on CarD also resemble functional domains typical of eukaryotic transcription factors, including a very acidic region and a leucine zipper. High mobility group yI(Y) proteins are known to bind the minor groove of A+T-rich DNA. CarD binds in vitro an A+T-rich element that is required for the proper operation of a carD-dependent promoter in vivo.

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