DNA-binding proteins play central roles in biology . Among other activities, they are responsible for replicating the genome, for transcribing active genes, and for repairing damaged DNA. One of the largest and most diverse classes of DNA-binding proteins are the transcription factors that regulate gene expression. In this review, we focus on structural studies of the DNA-binding domains from these transcription factors. A more general review of proteinÂ nucleic acid interactions, which also includes a discussion of restriction enzymes, polymerases, and RNA-binding proteins, can be found in Steitz (1). Transcription factors regulate cell development, differentiation, and cell growth by binding to a specific DNA site (or set of sites) and regulating gene expression. One cannot fully understand how genetic information is utilized without understanding the structure and DNA-binding properties of these transcription factors. In this review, we address progress in understanding the structural basis for sequence-specific binding . What secondary structures can provide a surface that is complementary to the structure of double-helical DNA? What contacts with the bases and the DNA backbone allow siteÂ specific recognition? How does understanding these structural details enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in repression and activation of gene expression?
Annual Review of Biochemistry – Annual Reviews
Published: Jul 1, 1992
Keywords: protein-DNA recognition; DNA-binding protein; helix-turn-helix; homeodomain; zinc finger
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