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Structure of the Amino-Terminal Protein Interaction Domain of STAT-4

Science  13 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5353, pp. 1048-1052
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5353.1048

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Abstract

STATs (signal transducers and activators of transcription) are a family of transcription factors that are specifically activated to regulate gene transcription when cells encounter cytokines and growth factors. The crystal structure of an NH2-terminal conserved domain (N-domain) comprising the first 123 residues of STAT-4 was determined at 1.45 angstroms. The domain consists of eight helices that are assembled into a hook-like structure. The N-domain has been implicated in several protein-protein interactions affecting transcription, and it enables dimerized STAT molecules to polymerize and to bind DNA cooperatively. The structure shows that N-domains can interact through an extensive interface formed by polar interactions across one face of the hook. Mutagenesis of an invariant tryptophan residue at the heart of this interface abolished cooperative DNA binding by the full-length protein in vitro and reduced the transcriptional response after cytokine stimulation in vivo.

  • * Present address: Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Abteilung für Zelluläre Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kuriyan{at}rockvax.rockefeller.edu

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