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Cell. 1997 Dec 12;91(6):741-52.

Solution structure of the KIX domain of CBP bound to the transactivation domain of CREB: a model for activator:coactivator interactions.

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Department of Molecular Biology, and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The nuclear factor CREB activates transcription of target genes in part through direct interactions with the KIX domain of the coactivator CBP in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. The solution structure of the complex formed by the phosphorylated kinase-inducible domain (pKID) of CREB with KIX reveals that pKID undergoes a coil-->helix folding transition upon binding to KIX, forming two alpha helices. The amphipathic helix alphaB of pKID interacts with a hydrophobic groove defined by helices alpha1 and alpha3 of KIX. The other pKID helix, alphaA, contacts a different face of the alpha3 helix. The phosphate group of the critical phosphoserine residue of pKID forms a hydrogen bond to the side chain of Tyr-658 of KIX. The structure provides a model for interactions between other transactivation domains and their targets.

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