Consensus DNA site for the Escherichia coli catabolite gene activator protein (CAP): CAP exhibits a 450-fold higher affinity for the consensus DNA site than for the E. coli lac DNA site

Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 Dec 25;17(24):10295-305. doi: 10.1093/nar/17.24.10295.


We have synthesized two 40 base pair DNA fragments; one fragment contains the consensus DNA site for CAP (fragment 'ICAP'); the other fragment contains the E. coli lac promoter DNA site for CAP (fragment 'LCAP'). We have investigated the binding of CAP to the two DNA fragments using the nitrocellulose filter binding assay. Under standard conditions [( NaCl] = 200 mM, pH = 7.3), CAP exhibits a 450-fold higher affinity for ICAP than for LCAP. The salt dependence of the binding equilibrium indicates that CAP makes eight ion pairs with ICAP, but only six ion pairs with LCAP. Approximately half of the difference in binding free energy for interaction of CAP with ICAP vs. LCAP is attributable to this difference in ion-pair formation. The pH dependence of the binding equilibrium indicates that the eight CAP-ICAP ion pairs and the six CAP-LCAP ion pairs do not involve His residues of CAP.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cations, Monovalent
  • Collodion
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Temperature
  • Thermodynamics


  • Cations, Monovalent
  • Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Collodion
  • Cyclic AMP