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

Stability of the dimerization domain effects the cooperative DNA binding of short peptides.

The basic region peptide derived from the basic leucine zipper protein GCN4 bound specifically to the native GCN4 binding sequences in a dimeric form when the beta-cyclodextrin/adamantane dimerization domain was introduced at the C-terminus of the GCN4 basic region peptide. We describe here how the structure and stability of the dimerization domain affect the cooperative formation of the peptide dimer-DNA complex. The basic region peptides with five different guest molecules were synthesized, and their equilibrium dissociation constants with a peptide possessing beta-cyclodextrin were determined. These values, ranging from 1.3 to 15 microM, were used to estimate the stability of the complexes between the dimers with various guest/cyclodextrin dimerization domains and GCN4 target sequences. An efficient cooperative formation of the dimer complexes at the GCN4 binding sequence was observed when the adamantyl group was replaced with the norbornyl or noradamantyl group, but not with the cyclohexyl group that formed a beta-cyclodextrin complex with a stability that was 1 order of magnitude lower than that of the adamantyl group. Thus, cooperative formation of the stable dimer-DNA complex appeared to be effected by the stability of the dimerization domain. For the peptides that cooperatively formed dimer-DNA complexes, there was no linear correlation between the stability of the inclusion complex and that of the dimer-DNA complex. With the beta-cyclodextrin/adamantane dimerization domain, the basic region peptide dimer preferred to bind to a palindromic 5'-ATGACGTCAT-3' sequence over the sequence lacking the central G.C base pair and that with an additional G.C base pair in the middle. Changing the adamantyl group into a norbornyl group did not alter the preferential binding of the peptide dimers to the palindromic sequence, but slightly affected the selectivity of the dimer for other nonpalindromic sequences. The helical contents of the peptides in the DNA-bound dimer with the adamantyl group were decreased by reducing the stability of the dimer-DNA complex, which was possibly caused by deformation of the helical structure proximal to the dimerization domain.[1]


  1. Stability of the dimerization domain effects the cooperative DNA binding of short peptides. Aizawa, Y., Sugiura, Y., Ueno, M., Mori, Y., Imoto, K., Makino, K., Morii, T. Biochemistry (1999) [Pubmed]
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