What is the SMALLEST DNA BINDING DOMAIN?

Angeline Kantola kantola at u.washington.edu
Sun Jan 12 23:10:45 EST 1997


In article <mthompson-1001971311280001 at phx-ts2-16.goodnet.com>,
MThompson <mthompson at asu.edu> wrote:
>I am searching for a small independently folding (or in presence of a
>metal ion), DNA binding domain. Would like it to be sequence specific, but
>would greatly appreciate all suggestions. Be as detailed as possible or
>please cite a reference, or name that I can locate it in the literature.
>Thanks very much.

Cys2-His2 zinc fingers are on the order of 30 amino acids long. As the
name suggests, a zinc atom is critical for structural integrity of the
functional domain. Proteins which bind DNA via C2H2 zinc fingers do so
sequence specifically.  There's no evidence that single zinc fingers bind
nucleic acids, though. A minimum of three of these fingers are required to
bind or, as in the case of yeast ADR1, two fingers and a non-finger N
termial region.

C2H2 zinc fingers are everywhere (there are other kinds of zinc fingers as
well), so finding information about them should be easy. Mia Schmiedeskamp
and Rachel Klevit wrote a review of zinc fingers a few years back, which
is probably a good place to start. 

Best of luck, 
Angie Kantola 




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