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1.  DNA binding specificity of proteins derived from alternatively spliced mouse p53 mRNAs. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1997;25(7):1319-1326.
The mouse p53 gene generates two alternative splice products encoding p53 protein and a naturally occurring protein (p53as) with changes at the C-terminus. In p53as the negative regulatory region for DNA binding and PAb421 antibody binding site are replaced, and p53as is constitutively active for sequence-specific DNA binding. Using the technique of randomized synthetic oligonucleotide in cyclic amplification and selection of targets, we have found that p53as and p53 proteins have the same DNA binding specificities but that these specificities frequently diverge from the consensus of two copies of PuPuPuCATGPyPyPy. The importance of tetranucleotide CATG was confirmed but there was a less rigorous requirement for patterns of flanking or intervening sequences. In particular, the three purines upstream and three pyrimidines downstream of CATG are not required for p53 or p53as binding, 29 or more intervening nucleotides are tolerated, and one CATG is sufficient where adjacent nucleotides contain a region of homology with certain previously reported non-consensus p53 binding sequences. These results suggested further definition of the non-consensus motifs, and database searches with these uncovered additional candidate genes for p53 protein binding. We conclude that p53as and perhaps other activated forms of p53 exert their effects on the same genes and that differential activities of p53 protein forms are not due to inherently different sequence selectivities of DNA binding.
PMCID: PMC146588  PMID: 9060424
2.  Single amino acid changes that alter the DNA sequence specificity of the DNA-[N6-adenine] methyltransferase (Dam) of bacteriophage T4. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1989;17(20):8149-8157.
Bacteriophage T4 codes for a DNA-[N6-adenine] methyltransferase (Dam) which recognizes primarily the sequence GATC in both cytosine- and hydroxymethylcytosine-containing DNA. Hypermethylating mutants, damh, exhibit a relaxation in sequence specificity, that is, they are readily able to methylate non-canonical sites. We have determined that the damh mutation produces a single amino acid change (Pro126 to Ser126) in a region of homology (III) shared by three DNA-adenine methyltransferases; viz, T4 Dam, Escherichia coli Dam, and the DpnII modification enzyme of Streptococcus pneumoniae. We also describe another mutant, damc, which methylates GATC in cytosine-containing DNA, but not in hydroxymethylcytosine-containing DNA. This mutation also alters a single amino acid (Phe127 to Val127). These results implicate homology region III as a domain involved in DNA sequence recognition. The effect of several different amino acids at residue 126 was examined by creating a polypeptide chain terminating codon at that position and comparing the methylation capability of partially purified enzymes produced in the presence of various suppressors. No enzyme activity is detected when phenylalanine, glutamic acid, or histidine is inserted at position 126. However, insertion of alanine, cysteine, or glycine at residue 126 produces enzymatic activity similar to Damh.
PMCID: PMC334954  PMID: 2510127
3.  Molecular cloning, sequencing, and mapping of the bacteriophage T2 dam gene. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1988;170(11):5177-5184.
Bacteriophage T2 codes for a DNA-(adenine-N6)methyltransferase (Dam), which is able to methylate both cytosine- and hydroxymethylcytosine-containing DNAs to a greater extent than the corresponding methyltransferase encoded by bacteriophage T4. We have cloned and sequenced the T2 dam gene and compared it with the T4 dam gene. In the Dam coding region, there are 22 nucleotide differences, 4 of which result in three coding differences (2 are in the same codon). Two of the amino acid alterations are located in a region of homology that is shared by T2 and T4 Dam, Escherichia coli Dam, and the modification enzyme of Streptococcus pneumoniae, all of which methylate the sequence 5' GATC 3'. The T2 dam and T4 dam promoters are not identical and appear to have slightly different efficiencies; when fused to the E. coli lacZ gene, the T4 promoter produces about twofold more beta-galactosidase activity than does the T2 promoter. In our first attempt to isolate T2 dam, a truncated gene was cloned on a 1.67-kilobase XbaI fragment. This construct produces a chimeric protein composed of the first 163 amino acids of T2 Dam followed by 83 amino acids coded by the pUC18 vector. Surprisingly, the chimera has Dam activity, but only on cytosine-containing DNA. Genetic and physical analyses place the T2 dam gene at the same respective map location as the T4 dam gene. However, relative to T4, T2 contains an insertion of 536 base pairs 5' to the dam gene. Southern blot hybridization and computer analysis failed to reveal any homology between this insert and either T4 or E. coli DNA.
PMCID: PMC211587  PMID: 3053648
4.  Long internal inverted repeat in a yeast viral double-stranded RNA. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1985;13(5):1575-1591.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae viruses are non-infectious double-stranded (ds) RNA viruses present in most laboratory strains of yeast. Their genome consists of one or more dsRNAs separately encapsidated in particles composed mainly of one polypeptide, which has a Mr of 88 kdaltons in the best-studied viral subtype. A large viral dsRNA (L1, of 4.7 kb) encodes the capsid polypeptide. We have determined the sequences of a number of cDNA clones homologous to portions of L1 and mapped them by a novel heteroduplex technique. Several of these clones originate from a region of L1 2.3-2.5 kb from the 5' end of the plus strand that contains stop codons in all three reading frames in the plus strand. We therefore suspect that the capsid polypeptide gene lies in the 5' 2.3-2.6 kb of the plus strand. One of the cloned cDNAs has an inverted repeat of 170 bp that appears to be present in its parental RNA. The inverted repeat in L1 is the longest known inverted repeat in a viral dsRNA and the only known non-terminal inverted repeat. It might serve the function of creating two mRNAs from one viral dsRNA.
PMCID: PMC341097  PMID: 2987830

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