Letter | Published:

DNA-binding properties of the product of the testis-determining gene and a related protein

Nature volume 354, pages 317320 (28 November 1991) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE upstream region of the human glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene contains an insulin-response element (IRE-A) responsible for insulin-dependent transcription of the gene (ref. 1). The open reading frame of a rat complementary DNA encoding a protein (IRE-ABP) that binds to this sequence contains an HMG box motif2 that is 67% identical to the mouse candidate gene for the testis-determining factor SRY, and 98% identical to the mouse SRY-like gene, a4 (refs 3, 4). Here we report that IRE-ABP and SRY bind to IRE-A DNA with comparable specificity in a DNase-I footprinting assay. Two females with sex reversal were found to have a single amino-acid substitution in the HMG box domain of SRY at position 3 and 7, respectively5–6. SRY derivatives containing corresponding mutations do not make contact with IRE-A DNA. These results are direct evidence that mouse SRY-like proteins are sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins and identify two amino acids critical to this interaction. Moreover, IRE-A is a candidate SRY-response element.

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Author information

Author notes

    • Xiang Fu Kong
    •  & Mark Goebl

    Present addresses: Endocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA (X.F.K.); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 638 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA (M.G.).

Affiliations

  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Diabetes Unit and Medical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 50 Blossom Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA

    • Nargis Nasrin
    • , Colleen Buggs
    • , Xiang Fu Kong
    • , James Carnazza
    • , Mark Goebl
    •  & Maria Alexander-Bridges

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https://doi.org/10.1038/354317a0

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