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Nucleic Acids Res. 1998 Aug 15;26(16):3800-5.

Conservation and divergence of NF-Y transcriptional activation function.

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Unité INSERM 167, Institut Pasteur Lille, 1, rue du Professeur Calmette, 59019 Lille, France.


The CCAAT-binding protein NF-Y is involved in the regulation of a variety of eukaryotic genes and is formed in higher eukaryotes by three subunits NF-YA/B/C. We have characterized NF-Y of the trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni and studied the structure and the function of the SMNF-YA subunit. In this work, we present the cloning and sequence analysis of the B subunit of the parasite factor. SMNF-YB contains the conserved HAP-3 homology domain but the remaining part of the protein was found to be highly divergent from all other species. We demonstrated by transfections of GAL4 fusion constructs, that mouse NF-YB does not contain activation domains while the C-terminal part of SMNF-YB has transcriptional activation potential. On the other hand, the N-terminal parts of SMNF-YA and mouse NF-YA were shown to mediate transactivation; the integrity of a large 160 amino acid glutamine-rich domain of NF-YA was required for this function and an adjacent serine- and threonine-rich domain was necessary for full activity in HepG2, but redundant in other cell types. Transactivation domains identified in SMNF-YB are also rich in serine and threonine residues. Our results indicate that serine/threonine-richsequences from helminth parasites potentiate trans-cription and that such structures have diverged during evolution within the same transcription factor.

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