Rosario CJ, Frisch RL, Bender RA
The LysR-Type Nitrogen Assimilation Control Protein Forms Complexes with Both Long and Short DNA Binding Sites in the Absence of Coeffectors.
J Bacteriol. 2010 Oct;192(19):4827-4833
Authors: Rosario CJ, Frisch RL, Bender RA
Most LysR-type transcriptional regulators (LTTRs) function as tetramers when regulating gene expression. The nitrogen assimilation control protein (NAC) generally functions as a dimer when binding to DNA and activating transcription. However, at some sites, NAC binds as a tetramer. Like many LTTRs, NAC tetramers can recognize sites with long footprints (74 bp for the site at nac) with a substantial DNA bend or short footprints (56 bp for the site at cod) with less DNA bending. However, unlike other LTTRs, NAC can recognize both types of sites in the absence of physiologically relevant coeffectors, suggesting that the two conformers of the NAC tetramer (extended and compact) are interchangeable without the need for any modification to induce or stabilize the change. In order for NAC to bind as a tetramer, three interactions must exist: an interaction between the two NAC dimers and an interaction between each NAC dimer and its corresponding binding site. The interaction between one dimer and its DNA site can be weak (recognizing a half-site rather than a full dimer-binding site), but the other two interactions must be strong. Since the conformation of the NAC tetramer (extended or compact) is determined by the nature of the DNA site without the intervention of a small molecule, we argue that the coeffector that determines the conformation of the NAC tetramer is the DNA site to which it binds.
PMID: 20363946 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]