The mammalian transcription factor AP-2 is a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein expressed in neural crest lineages and regulated by retinoic acid. Here we report a structure/function analysis of the DNA-binding and transcription activation properties of the AP-2 protein. DNA contact studies indicate that AP-2 binds as a dimer to a palindromic recognition sequence. Furthermore, cross-linking and immunoprecipitation data illustrate that AP-2 exists as a dimer even in the absence of DNA. Examination of cDNA mutants reveals that the sequences responsible for DNA binding are located in the carboxy-terminal half of the protein. In addition, a domain mediating dimerization forms an integral component of this DNA-binding structure. Expression of AP-2 in mammalian cells demonstrates that transcriptional activation requires an additional amino-terminal domain that contains an unusually high concentration of proline residues. This proline-rich activation domain also functions when attached to the heterologous DNA-binding region of the GAL4 protein. This study reveals that although AP-2 shares an underlying modular organization with other transcription factors, the regions of AP-2 involved in transcriptional activation and DNA binding/dimerization have novel sequence characteristics.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.