A novel class of plant proteins containing a homeodomain with a closely linked leucine zipper motif

EMBO J. 1991 Jul;10(7):1787-91.


The homeobox, a 183 bp DNA sequence element, was originally identified as a region of sequence similarity between many Drosophila homeotic genes. The homeobox codes for a DNA-binding motif known as the homeodomain. Homeobox genes have been found in many animal species, including sea urchins, nematodes, frogs, mice and humans. To isolate homeobox-containing sequences from the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a cDNA library was screened with a highly degenerate oligonucleotide corresponding to a conserved eight amino acid sequence from the helix-3 region of the homeodomain. Using this strategy two cDNA clones sharing homeobox-related sequences were identified. Interestingly, both of the cDNAs also contain a second element that potentially codes for a leucine zipper motif which is located immediately 3' to the homeobox. The close proximity of these two domains suggests that the homeodomain-leucine zipper motif could, via dimerization of the leucine zippers, recognize dyad-symmetrical DNA sequences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Leucine Zippers / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Protein Conformation


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HB-2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M55400
  • GENBANK/M55401
  • GENBANK/M55402
  • GENBANK/M65224
  • GENBANK/S60919
  • GENBANK/S60920
  • GENBANK/X58576
  • GENBANK/X58577
  • GENBANK/X58821
  • GENBANK/X59082