Human CCAAT-binding proteins have heterologous subunits

Lewis A. Chodosh*, Albert S. Baldwin, Richard W. Carthew, Phillip A. Sharp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

565 Scopus citations


We have characterized three distinct proteins present in HeLa cell extracts that specifically recognize different subsets of transcriptional elements containing the pentanucleotide sequence CCAAT. One of these CCAAT-binding proteins, CP1, binds with high affinity to CCAAT elements present in the human a-globin promoter and the adenovirus major late promoter (MLP). A second protein, CP2, binds with high affinity to a CCAAT element present in the rat γ-fibrinogen promoter. Finally, the third CCAAT-binding protein is nuclear factor I (NF-I), a cellular DNA-binding protein that binds to the adenovirus origin of replication and is required for the initiation of adenoviral replication. CPi, CP2, and NF-I are distinct activities in that each binds to its own recognition site with an affinity that is at least three orders of magnitude higher than that with which it binds to the recognition sites of the other two proteins. Surprisingly, CP1, CP2, and NF-I each appear to recognize their binding site with highest affinity as a multisubunit complex composed of heterologous subunits. In the case of CP1, two different types of subunits form a stable complex in the absence of a DNA-binding site. Moreover, both subunits are present in the CP1-DNA complex. We thus propose the existence of a family of related multisubunit CCAAT-binding proteins that are composed of heterologous subunits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 8 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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