Two groups of HMG box proteins are distinguished. Proteins in the first group contain multiple HMG boxes, are non-sequence-specific, and recognize structural features as found in cruciform DNA and cross-over DNA. The abundant chromosomal protein HMG-1 belongs to this subgroup. Proteins in the second group carry a single HMG box with affinity for the minor groove of the heptamer motif AACAAAG or variations thereof. A solution structure for the non-sequence-specific C-terminal HMG box of HMG-1 has recently been proposed. Now, we report the solution structure of the sequence-specific HMG-box of the SRY-related protein Sox-4. NMR analysis demonstrated the presence of three α-helices (Val10-Gln22, Glu30-Leu41 and Phe50-Tyr65) connected by loop regions (Ser23-Ala49 and Leu42-Pro49). Helices I and II are positioned in an antiparallel mode and form one arm of the HMG box. Helix III is less rigid, makes an average angle of about 90° with helices I and II, and constitutes the other arm of the molecule. As in HMG1B, the overall structure of the Sox-4 HMG box is L-shaped and is maintained by a cluster of conserved, mainly aromatic residues.