Structural analyses of CREB-CBP transcriptional activator-coactivator complexes by NMR spectroscopy: implications for mapping the boundaries of structural domains

J Mol Biol. 1999 Apr 16;287(5):859-65. doi: 10.1006/jmbi.1999.2658.


A number of signal-dependent and development-specific transcription factors recruit CREB binding protein (CBP) for their transactivation function. The KIX domain of CBP is a common docking site for many of these transcription factors. We recently determined the solution structure of the KIX domain complexed to one of its targets, the Ser133-phosphorylated kinase inducible transactivation domain (pKID) of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein. The NMR studies have now been extended to a slightly longer KIX construct that, unlike the original KIX construct, is readily amenable to structural analysis in both the free and pKID-bound forms. This addition of six residues (KRRSRL) to the C terminus of the original construct elongates the C-terminal alpha3 helix of KIX by about eight residues. On the basis of the NMR structure of the original KIX construct, residues in the extended helix are predicted to be solvent exposed and thus are not expected to contribute to the hydrophobic core of the domain. Their role appears to be in the stabilization of the alpha3 helix through favorable electrostatic interactions with the helix dipole, which in turn confers stability on the core of the KIX domain. These results have important implications for the identification of novel protein domain boundaries. Chemical shift perturbation mapping firmly establishes a similar mode of pKID binding to the longer KIX construct and rules out any additional intermolecular interactions between residues in the C-terminal extension and pKID.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / chemistry
  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • CREB-Binding Protein
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / chemistry*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Trans-Activators / chemistry*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Acetyltransferases
  • CREB-Binding Protein