Research CommentariesTRANSCRIPTION

Inner Workings of a Transcription Factor Partnership

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Science  13 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5353, pp. 1000-1002
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5353.1000

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The transcription factor GABPa binds to DNA alone, but it binds more tightly when coupled with its partner GABPb. Graves describes in her commentary how the structure of portions of the two proteins bound to a segment of DNA (reported on p. 1037 of this issue by Batchelor et al.) reveals the molecular changes that the b subunit induces to improve the binding of GABPa to DNA. These results yield generalizable principles that may explain how other non-DNA binding partners influence the specificity of transcriptional regulation.