Identification of Basonuclin2, a DNA-binding zinc-finger protein expressed in germ tissues and skin keratinocytes

Genomics. 2004 May;83(5):821-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2003.11.009.


We used a bioinformatics approach to identify Basonuclin2, the second member of the Basonuclin zinc-finger family of transcription factors. The mouse Basonuclin2 protein consists of 1049 amino acids and contains three pairs of zinc fingers in the C-terminus that show a high level of amino acid sequence similarity with Basonuclin1. In addition, other characteristic domains of Basonuclin1, such as the serine strip and a nuclear localization signal, are also present in Basonuclin2. We used genomic and in silico database analysis to identify the human and rat homologs of basonuclin2. A search of the mouse genome showed that the basonuclin2 gene maps to chromosome 4 and consists of six exons spanning approximately 300 kb. Northern blot analysis revealed multiple transcripts of basonuclin2 in tissues of the reproductive system (ovary and testis) and also in kidney and skin. We demonstrate that, as expected from sequence conservation, recombinant Basonuclin2 can bind to a sequence in the promoter of a rRNA gene previously characterized as a Basonuclin-binding site. Full-length Basonuclin2 exclusively localizes to the nucleus, indicating that it likely plays an important role in nuclear function, probably in gene regulation. Our study establishes Basonuclin2 as a novel member of the Basonuclin family. Moreover, the structural and functional similarities with Basonuclin1 suggest that Basonuclin2 may play an analogous function in germ cells and skin keratinocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Computational Biology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genomics
  • Gonads / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • basonuclin 2, mouse