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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

AT-Hook Motifs

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Disease relevance of AT-Hook Motifs

  • Chimeric transcripts were isolated from two lipomas in which HMGI-C DNA-binding domains (AT hook motifs) are fused to either a LIM or an acidic transactivation domain [1].
  • Transcriptional factor CarD is the only reported prokaryotic analog of eukaryotic high-mobility-group A (HMGA) proteins, in that it has contiguous acidic and AT hook DNA-binding segments and multifunctional roles in Myxococcus xanthus carotenogenesis and fruiting body formation [2].
  • A single-nucleotide polymorphism at the DNA binding AT-hook motif of the transcriptional regulator AKNA is highly associated with cervical cancer [3].

High impact information on AT-Hook Motifs

  • The more abundant derivative 11 transcript codes for a chimeric protein containing the AT hook motifs fused to a previously undescribed protein (ENL) from chromosome 19 [4].
  • One of the bromodomains, the BAH domain, and the AT hook are each essential for Rsc1 and Rsc2 functions, although they are not required for assembly into RSC complexes [5].
  • The protein encoded by e(y)3, named Supporter of Activation of Yellow Protein (SAYP), contains an AT-hook, two PHD fingers, and a novel evolutionarily conserved domain with a transcriptional coactivator function [6].
  • Both isoforms contain the domain that interacts with HP1; the larger isoform contains two AT-hook motifs [7].
  • The protein contains a SET domain, a PHD finger, four AT hooks, and a region with homology to the bromodomain [8].

Biological context of AT-Hook Motifs

  • This gene encodes a putative transcription factor with homology to the zinc fingers and other domains of the Drosophila trithorax gene product and to the "AT-hook" motif of high mobility group proteins [9].
  • Both fusion products retain the histone acetyltransferase domain of CBP and may lead to leukemia by promoting histone acetylation of genomic regions targeted by the MLL AT-hooks, leading to transcriptional deregulation via aberrant chromatin organization [10].
  • The sequence of the complete open reading frame for this fusion transcript reveals the MLL protein to have homology with DNA methyltransferase, the Drosophila trithorax gene product, and the "AT-hook" motif of high-mobility-group proteins [11].
  • Distamycin, which, like the AT-hook DNA binding motif found in proteins such as mammalian HMG-I, binds to the minor groove of A:T-rich sequences, suppressed DNA methylation and gene silencing [12].
  • Phosphorylation by Cdc2 kinase leads to a partial derailing of the AT-hooks from the minor groove, affecting mainly the second binding domain [13].

Associations of AT-Hook Motifs with chemical compounds

  • Although the MLL gene was alternatively spliced, the fusion protein should contain an N-terminal half of the MLL, including AT hook motifs, that is fused to the MEN protein with a lysine-rich sequence, suggesting that the MLL/MEN fusion protein could be a chimeric transcription factor [14].
  • ESE-1 is an epithelium-specific ETS transcription factor that contains two distinguishing domains, a serine- and aspartic acid-rich (SAR) domain and an AT hook domain [15].
  • The high mobility group (HMG) proteins of the AT-hook family (HMGA) lie downstream in regulatory networks with protein kinase C, Cdc2 kinase, MAP kinase, and casein kinase 2 (CK2) as final effectors [16].
  • We find that in the presence of double-stranded DNA all AT-hook motifs are protected against hydroxyl radical proteolysis [17].
  • The BD peptide also contains novel structural features such as a predicted Asx bend or "hook" at its amino-terminal end and laterally projecting cationic Arg/Lys side chains or "bristles" which may contribute to the binding properties of the HMG-I proteins [18].

Gene context of AT-Hook Motifs

  • Deletions of either the AT hook motifs or the methyltransferase homology domain of HRX substantially impaired the transforming effects of HRX-ENL [19].
  • The AF10 gene encodes a putative transcription factor containing an N-terminal LAP/PHD zinc finger motif, a functional nuclear localization signal, an AT-hook domain, and a leucine zipper toward the C-terminus [20].
  • We conclude from these experiments that Mac1(t) binds in a modular fashion to DNA, with its RGRP AT-hook motif interacting with the TTT sequence at the 5' end of the CTR1 CuRE site, and with another DNA-binding module(s) binding in the adjacent major groove in the GCTCA sequence [21].
  • These transcripts encode fusion proteins containing RAD51L1 nucleotide binding domains and the HMGIC protein lacking the N-terminal AT hook motifs [22].
  • CECR2 (AAK15343) exhibited a transcription factor AT-hook motif next to two bromodomains and a homology to guanylatebinding protein-1 [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of AT-Hook Motifs



  1. Disruption of the architectural factor HMGI-C: DNA-binding AT hook motifs fused in lipomas to distinct transcriptional regulatory domains. Ashar, H.R., Fejzo, M.S., Tkachenko, A., Zhou, X., Fletcher, J.A., Weremowicz, S., Morton, C.C., Chada, K. Cell (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. The Stigmatella aurantiaca homolog of Myxococcus xanthus high-mobility-group A-type transcription factor CarD: insights into the functional modules of CarD and their distribution in bacteria. Cayuela, M.L., Elías-Arnanz, M., Peñalver-Mellado, M., Padmanabhan, S., Murillo, F.J. J. Bacteriol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. A polymorphism in the AT-hook motif of the transcriptional regulator AKNA is a risk factor for cervical cancer. Perales, G., Burguete-García, A.I., Dimas, J., Bahena-Román, M., Bermúdez-Morales, V.H., Moreno, J., Madrid-Marina, V. Biomarkers. (2010) [Pubmed]
  4. Involvement of a homolog of Drosophila trithorax by 11q23 chromosomal translocations in acute leukemias. Tkachuk, D.C., Kohler, S., Cleary, M.L. Cell (1992) [Pubmed]
  5. Two functionally distinct forms of the RSC nucleosome-remodeling complex, containing essential AT hook, BAH, and bromodomains. Cairns, B.R., Schlichter, A., Erdjument-Bromage, H., Tempst, P., Kornberg, R.D., Winston, F. Mol. Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. A novel multidomain transcription coactivator SAYP can also repress transcription in heterochromatin. Shidlovskii, Y.V., Krasnov, A.N., Nikolenko, J.V., Lebedeva, L.A., Kopantseva, M., Ermolaeva, M.A., Ilyin, Y.V., Nabirochkina, E.N., Georgiev, P.G., Georgieva, S.G. EMBO J. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Heterochromatin protein 2 (HP2), a partner of HP1 in Drosophila heterochromatin. Shaffer, C.D., Stephens, G.E., Thompson, B.A., Funches, L., Bernat, J.A., Craig, C.A., Elgin, S.C. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. huASH1 protein, a putative transcription factor encoded by a human homologue of the Drosophila ash1 gene, localizes to both nuclei and cell-cell tight junctions. Nakamura, T., Blechman, J., Tada, S., Rozovskaia, T., Itoyama, T., Bullrich, F., Mazo, A., Croce, C.M., Geiger, B., Canaani, E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. 11q23 translocations split the "AT-hook" cruciform DNA-binding region and the transcriptional repression domain from the activation domain of the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene. Zeleznik-Le, N.J., Harden, A.M., Rowley, J.D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
  10. MLL is fused to CBP, a histone acetyltransferase, in therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia with a t(11;16)(q23;p13.3). Sobulo, O.M., Borrow, J., Tomek, R., Reshmi, S., Harden, A., Schlegelberger, B., Housman, D., Doggett, N.A., Rowley, J.D., Zeleznik-Le, N.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1997) [Pubmed]
  11. Acute mixed-lineage leukemia t(4;11)(q21;q23) generates an MLL-AF4 fusion product. Domer, P.H., Fakharzadeh, S.S., Chen, C.S., Jockel, J., Johansen, L., Silverman, G.A., Kersey, J.H., Korsmeyer, S.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
  12. Synthesis of signals for de novo DNA methylation in Neurospora crassa. Tamaru, H., Selker, E.U. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Architecture of high mobility group protein I-C.DNA complex and its perturbation upon phosphorylation by Cdc2 kinase. Schwanbeck, R., Manfioletti, G., Wiśniewski, J.R. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  14. Cloning of several species of MLL/MEN chimeric cDNAs in myeloid leukemia with t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) translocation. Mitani, K., Kanda, Y., Ogawa, S., Tanaka, T., Inazawa, J., Yazaki, Y., Hirai, H. Blood (1995) [Pubmed]
  15. The ETS transcription factor ESE-1 transforms MCF-12A human mammary epithelial cells via a novel cytoplasmic mechanism. Prescott, J.D., Koto, K.S., Singh, M., Gutierrez-Hartmann, A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  16. Consecutive steps of phosphorylation affect conformation and DNA binding of the chironomus high mobility group A protein. Schwanbeck, R., Gymnopoulos, M., Petry, I., Piekiełko, A., Szewczuk, Z., Heyduk, T., Zechel, K., Wiśniewski, J.R. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
  17. Protein footprinting reveals specific binding modes of a high mobility group protein I to DNAs of different conformation. Frank, O., Schwanbeck, R., Wiśniewski, J.R. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  18. The A.T-DNA-binding domain of mammalian high mobility group I chromosomal proteins. A novel peptide motif for recognizing DNA structure. Reeves, R., Nissen, M.S. J. Biol. Chem. (1990) [Pubmed]
  19. The oncogenic capacity of HRX-ENL requires the transcriptional transactivation activity of ENL and the DNA binding motifs of HRX. Slany, R.K., Lavau, C., Cleary, M.L. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  20. The MLL fusion partner AF10 binds GAS41, a protein that interacts with the human SWI/SNF complex. Debernardi, S., Bassini, A., Jones, L.K., Chaplin, T., Linder, B., de Bruijn, D.R., Meese, E., Young, B.D. Blood (2002) [Pubmed]
  21. The yeast transcription factor Mac1 binds to DNA in a modular fashion. Jamison McDaniels, C.P., Jensen, L.T., Srinivasan, C., Winge, D.R., Tullius, T.D. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  22. Evidence for RAD51L1/HMGIC fusion in the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyoma. Takahashi, T., Nagai, N., Oda, H., Ohama, K., Kamada, N., Miyagawa, K. Genes Chromosomes Cancer (2001) [Pubmed]
  23. Sequence analysis of LRPPRC and its SEC1 domain interaction partners suggests roles in cytoskeletal organization, vesicular trafficking, nucleocytosolic shuttling, and chromosome activity. Liu, L., McKeehan, W.L. Genomics (2002) [Pubmed]
  24. Enhancement of serum-response factor-dependent transcription and DNA binding by the architectural transcription factor HMG-I(Y). Chin, M.T., Pellacani, A., Wang, H., Lin, S.S., Jain, M.K., Perrella, M.A., Lee, M.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  25. The herpesvirus saimiri open reading frame (ORF) 50 (Rta) protein contains an at hook required for binding to the ORF 50 response element in delayed-early promoters. Walters, M.S., Hall, K.T., Whitehouse, A. J. Virol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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