Effects of nucleic acids and polyanions on dimer formation and DNA binding by bZIP and bHLHZip transcription factors

Jennifer J. Kohler, Alanna Schepartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


A large fraction of known transcription factors form 2:1 complexes with DNA. In our studies of the assembly of such ternary (protein protein DNA) complexes formed by bZIP an bHLHZip proteins, we foun that the proteins recognize DNA as monomers. Here we show that protein monomer-DNA complexes are favored at high DNA concentrations. Further, we show that, due to fast rates of association with protein monomers, DNA and other polyanions accelerate the rate of protein dimer formation. Finally, we find that DNA-assisted formation of protein dimers provides a mechanism by which dimeric transcription factors can rapidly discriminate between specific and nonspecific sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2435-2443
Number of pages9
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 22 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this