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

The Drosophila Pipsqueak protein defines a new family of helix-turn-helix DNA-binding proteins.

Many prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA-binding proteins use a helix-turn-helix (HTH) structure for DNA recognition. Here we describe a new family of eukaryotic HTH proteins, the Pipsqueak (Psq) family, which includes proteins from fungi, sea urchins, nematodes, insects, and vertebrates. Three subgroups of the Psq family can be distinguished. Like the HTH proteins of the prokaryotic resolvase family, members of the CENP-B/transposase subgroup catalyze site-specific recombination reactions. This functional conservation, together with a primary sequence similarity between the resolvase and Psq DNA-binding domains, suggests that the resolvase and Psq families are evolutionarily linked. More than half of the newly identified Drosophila Psq proteins contain a BTB protein-protein interaction domain. All proteins of this BTB subgroup belong to the conserved Tramtrack group of BTB-domain proteins. About half of the members of the Tramtrack group contain a Psq domain, while the other half is made up of proteins that contain a zinc finger domain. Thus, nearly all members of this group appear to be DNA-binding proteins. Among other developmental regulators, the Drosophila cell death protein E93 was found to contain a Psq motif and to define a third subgroup of Psq domain proteins. The high sequence conservation of the E93 Psq motif allowed the identification of E93 orthologs in humans and lower metazoans.[1]


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