, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 691-702

Members of a new family of DNA-binding proteins bind to a conserved cis-element in the promoters of α-Amy2 genes

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The promoters of wheat, barley and wild oat α-Amy2 genes contain a number of conserved cis-acting elements that bind nuclear protein, we report here the isolation of two cDNAs encoding proteins (ABF1 and ABF2) that bind specifically to one of these elements, Box 2 (ATTGACTTGACCGTCATCGG). The two proteins are unrelated to each other except for a conserved region of 56–58 amino acids that consists of 25 highly conserved amino acids followed by a putative zinc finger motif, C-X4–5-C-X22–23-H-X1-H. ABF1 contains two such conserved regions, whereas ABF2 possesses only one but also contains a potential leucine zipper motif, suggesting that it could form homo- or heterodimers. ABF1 and ABF2 expressed in Escherichia coli bound specifically to Box 2 probes in gel retardation experiments; this binding was abolished by the transition-metal-chelating agent, 1,10-o-phenanthroline and by EDTA. We propose that ABF1 and ABF2 are representatives of two classes of a new family of plant sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins.