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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1997 Feb;7(1):117-25.

Physical basis of a protein-DNA recognition code.

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Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK.


Can a stereochemical recognition code explain sequence-specific protein-nucleic acid interactions? Whereas a code that is generally applicable to DNA-binding proteins of all known structural families is unattainable, the indications are that a code can describe at least some of the interactions of classical zinc fingers with DNA. The crystal structures of related zinc finger-DNA complexes reveal a remarkable mode of interaction that sets the framework for this code, and recent biochemical studies have elucidated the intermolecular contacts (contingent on this framework) that result in specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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