A trypanosomal CCHC-type zinc finger protein which binds the conserved universal sequence of kinetoplast DNA minicircles: Isolation and analysis of the complete cDNA from Crithidia fasciculata

Hagai Abeliovich, Yehuda Tzfati, Joseph Shlomai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Replication of the kinetoplast DNA minicircle light strand initiates at a highly conserved 12-nucleotide sequence, termed the universal minicircle sequence. A Crithidia fasciculata single-stranded DNA-binding protein interacts specifically with the guanine-rich heavy strand of this origin-associated sequence (Y. Tzfati, H. Abeliovich, I. Kapeller, and J. Shlomai, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89:6891-6895, 1992). Using the universal minicircle sequence heavy-strand probe to screen a C. fasciculata cDNA expression library, we have isolated two overlapping cDNA clones encoding the trypanosomatid universal minicircle sequence-binding protein. The complete cDNA sequence defines an open reading frame encoding a 116-amino-acid polypeptide chain consisting of five repetitions of a CCHC zinc finger motif. A significant similarity is found between this universal minicircle sequence-binding protein and two other single-stranded DNA-binding proteins identified in humans and in Leishmania major. All three proteins bind specifically to single-stranded guanine-rich DNA ligands. Partial amino acid sequence of the endogenous protein, purified to homogeneity from C. fasciculata, was identical to that deduced from the cDNA nucleotide sequence. DNA-binding characteristics of the cDNA-encoded fusion protein expressed in bacteria were identical to those of the endogenous C. fasciculata protein. Hybridization analyses reveal that the gene encoding the minicircle origin-binding protein is nuclear and may occur in the C. fasciculata chromosome as a cluster of several structural genes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7766-7773
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume13
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1993

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