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Dimerization specificity of P22 and 434 repressors is determined by multiple polypeptide segments.

By A L Donner, P A Carlson and G B Koudelka


The repressor protein of bacteriophage P22 binds to DNA as a homodimer. This dimerization is absolutely required for DNA binding. Dimerization is mediated by interactions between amino acids in the carboxyl (C)-terminal domain. We have constructed a plasmid, p22CT-1, which directs the overproduction of just the C-terminal domain of the P22 repressor (P22CT-1). Addition of P22CT-1 to DNA-bound P22 repressor causes the dissociation of the complex. Cross-linking experiments show that P22CT-1 forms specific heterodimers with the intact P22 repressor protein, indicating that inhibition of P22 repressor DNA binding by P22CT-1 is mediated by the formation of DNA binding-inactive P22 repressor:P22CT-1 heterodimers. We have taken advantage of the highly conserved amino acid sequences within the C-terminal domains of the P22 and 434 repressors and have created chimeric proteins to help identify amino acid regions required for dimerization specificity. Our results indicate that the dimerization specificity region of these proteins is concentrated in three segments of amino acid sequence that are spread across the C-terminal domain of each of the two phage repressors. We also show that the set of amino acids that forms the cooperativity interface of the P22 repressor may be distinct from those that form its dimer interface. Furthermore, cooperativity studies of the wild-type and chimeric proteins suggest that the location of cooperativity interface in the 434 repressor may also be distinct from that of its dimerization interface. Interestingly, changes in the dimer interface decreases the ability of the 434 repressor to discriminate between its wild-type binding sites, O(R)1, O(R)2, and O(R)3. Since 434 repressor discrimination between these sites depends in large part on the ability of this protein to recognize sequence-specific differences in DNA structure and flexibility, this result indicates that the C-terminal domain is intimately involved in the recognition of sequence-dependent differences in DNA structure and flexibility

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.179.4.1253-1261.1997
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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