A Bipartite DNA-Binding Domain in Yeast Reb1p

Bernice E. Morrow, Qida Ju, Jonathan R. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The REB1 gene encodes a DNA-binding protein (Reb1p) that is essential for growth of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Reb1p binds to sites within transcriptional control regions of genes transcribed by either RNA polymerase I or RNA polymerase II. The sequence of REB1 predicts a protein of 809 amino acids. To define the DNA-binding domain of Reb1p, a series of 5′ and 3′ deletions within the coding region was constructed in a bacterial expression vector. Analysis of the truncated Reb1p proteins revealed that nearly 400 amino acids of the C-terminal portion of the protein are required for maximal DNA-binding activity. To further define the important structural features of Reb1p, the REB1 homolog from a related yeast, Kluyveromyces lactis, was cloned by genetic complementation. The K. lactis REB1 gene supports active growth of an S. cerevisiae strain whose REB1 gene has been deleted. The Reb1p proteins of the two organisms generate almost identical footprints on DNA, yet the K. lactis REB1 gene encodes a polypeptide of only 595 amino acids. Comparison of the two Reb1p sequences revealed that within the region necessary for the binding of Reb1p to DNA were two long regions of nearly perfect identity, separated in the S. cerevisiae Reb1p by nearly 150 amino acids but in the K. lactis Reb1p by only 40 amino acids. The first includes a 105-amino-acid region related to the DNA-binding domain of the myb oncoprotein; the second bears a faint resemblance to myb. The hypothesis that the DNA-binding domain of Reb1p is formed from these two conserved regions was confirmed by deletion of as many as 90 amino acids between them, with little effect on the DNA-binding ability of the resultant protein. We suggest that the DNA-binding domain of Reb1p is made up of two myb-like regions that, unlike myb itself, are separated by as many as 150 amino acids. Since Reb1p protects only 15 to 20 nucleotides in a chemical or enzymatic footprint assay, the protein must fold such that the two components of the binding site are adjacent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1182
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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