DNA mismatch recognition and binding in human cells has been thought to be mediated by the hMSH2 protein. Here it is shown that the mismatch-binding factor consists of two distinct proteins, the 100-kilodalton hMSH2 and a 160-kilodalton polypeptide, GTBP (for G/T binding protein). Sequence analysis identified GTBP as a new member of the MutS homolog family. Both proteins are required for mismatch-specific binding, a result consistent with the finding that tumor-derived cell lines devoid of either protein are also devoid of mismatch-binding activity.

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