Cooperative DNA Binding and Sequence-Selective Recognition Conferred by the STAT Amino-Terminal Domain

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Science  09 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5276, pp. 794-797
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5276.794


STAT proteins (signal transducers and activators of transcription) activate distinct target genes despite having similar DNA binding preferences. The transcriptional specificity of STAT proteins was investigated on natural STAT binding sites near the interferon-gamma gene. These sites are arranged in multiple copies and required cooperative interactions for STAT binding. The conserved amino-terminal domain of STAT proteins was required for cooperative DNA binding, although this domain was not essential for dimerization or binding to a single site. Cooperative binding interactions enabled the STAT proteins to recognize variations of the consensus site. These sites can be specific for the different STAT proteins and may function to direct selective transcriptional activation.

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