The Schizosaccharomyces pombe gene mat-Mc plays a determinative role in the sexual differentiation of the fission yeast. The mat-Mc protein has been suggested to belong to a novel family of so-called high mobility group (HMG) box proteins, characterized by homology to high mobility group-1 and -2 proteins. Several HMG box proteins, including the mammalian sex-determining gene product SRY and the lymphoid transcription factors TCF-1 and LEF-1, have been shown to bind to DNA in a sequence-specific fashion. To analyze possible DNA-binding properties of mat-Mc, we have cloned and expressed its putative HMG box in Escherichia coli. Gel retardation analysis revealed that the mat- Mc HMG box recognizes the AACAAAG heptamer in a sequence-specific fashion. Combined T→C and A→I substitutions on both strands of the AACAAAG heptamer, which change the surface of the major groove while leaving the minor groove intact, did not interfere with sequence-specific binding of mat-Mc. Methylation interference analysis confirmed that the mat-Mc HMG box contacts adenine residues in the minor groove. By using a circular permutation assay, the mat-Mc HMG box was observed to bend DNA. These results indicate that mat- Mc is indeed a member of the HMG box family with DNA-binding characteristics assigned earlier to other members of this novel transcription factor family.
|Journal of Biological Chemistry
|Nummer van het tijdschrift
|Gepubliceerd - 1993