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Nat Struct Biol. 1998 Jun;5(6):484-91.

A new DNA-binding motif in the Skn-1 binding domain-DNA complex.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403, USA.


The DNA-binding domain of Skn-1, a developmental transcription factor that specifies mesoderm in C. elegans, is shown by X-ray crystallography to have a novel fold in which a compact, monomeric, four-helix unit organizes two DNA-contact elements. At the C-terminus, a helix extends from the domain to occupy the major groove of DNA in a manner similar to bZip proteins. Skn-1, however, lacks the leucine zipper found in all bZips. Additional contacts with the DNA are made by a short basic segment at the N-terminus of the domain, reminiscent of the 'homeodomain arm'.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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