The two zinc finger-like domains of GATA-1 have different DNA binding specificities

EMBO J. 1993 Dec 15;12(13):4993-5005.


The GATA-1 transcription factor has been shown to be important in the regulation of globin and non-globin genes in erythroid, megakaryocytic and mast cell lineages. It is a member of a family of GATA proteins which both overlap in their expression patterns and bind the motif (A/T)GATA(A/G). The GATA family of proteins are also members of the superfamily of zinc finger-like domain proteins and have two similar domains of the type Cys-X2-Cys-X17-Cys-X2-Cys which direct the DNA binding of the protein. A random oligonucleotide selection procedure has been employed to further elucidate the mechanism of GATA-1-DNA recognition. The resulting oligonucleotides were tested for binding activity to both wild-type and mutant GATA-1 proteins. Two classes of GATA-1-DNA interaction have been defined, the first requiring only the carboxy finger of GATA-1 to bind and having the motif GAT(A/T), the second requiring both finger domains to bind and having the core motif (T/C)AAG. By using sequence comparison and depurination analysis it is concluded that the two finger-like domains of GATA-1 have different DNA binding recognition motifs. Binding of GATA-1 to GAT(A/T) motifs is associated with transcriptional activation of linked genes. The only known (T/C)AAG motif is in the distal CAAT-box promoter region of the human A gamma-globin gene where the binding of GATA-1 appears to regulate the correct developmental suppression of gamma-globin expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Erythroid-Specific DNA-Binding Factors
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Erythroid-Specific DNA-Binding Factors
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor
  • Gata1 protein, mouse
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA