Understanding DNA-protein recognition quantitatively is essential to developing computational algorithms for accurate transcriptional binding site prediction. Using a quantitative, multiple fluorescence, relative affinity (QuMFRA) assay, we determine the binding specificity of 11 different position 6 variants of the Mnt repressor for operators containing all 16 possible dinucleotides at operator positions 16 and 17. We show that the wild-type and all variant proteins interact with the two positions in a non-independent manner, but that a simple independent model provides a close approximation to the true binding affinities. The wild-type His at amino acid 6 is the only protein to prefer the AC sequence of the wild-type operator, whereas most of the variant proteins prefer TA. H6R is unique in having a strong preference for C at position 16. A comparison of the quantitative binding data for all of the protein variants with a model for recognition of the early growth response (EGR) zinc finger family suggests that interactions of Mnt with positions 16 and 17 are similar to interactions of EGR with positions 1 and 2, respectively. This information leads to an augmented model for the interaction of Mnt with its operator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4026-4032
Number of pages7
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2004


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