A palindromic regulatory site within vertebrate GATA-1 promoters requires both zinc fingers of the GATA-1 DNA-binding domain for high-affinity interaction

Mol Cell Biol. 1996 May;16(5):2238-47. doi: 10.1128/MCB.16.5.2238.


GATA-1, a transcription factor essential for the development of the erythroid lineage, contains two adjacent highly conserved zinc finger motifs. The carboxy-terminal finger is necessary and sufficient for specific binding to the consensus GATA recognition sequence: mutant proteins containing only the amino-terminal finger do not bind. Here we identify a DNA sequence (GATApal) for which the GATA-1 amino-terminal finger makes a critical contribution to the strength of binding. The site occurs in the GATA-1 gene promoters of chickens, mice, and humans but occurs very infrequently in other vertebrate genes known to be regulated by GATA proteins. GATApal is a palindromic site composed of one complete [(A/T)GATA(A/G)] and one partial (GAT) canonical motif. Deletion of the partial motif changes the site to a normal GATA site and also reduces by as much as eightfold the activity of the GATA-1 promoter in an erythroid precursor cell. We propose that GATApal is important for positive regulation of GATA-1 expression in erythroid cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chickens
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Erythroid-Specific DNA-Binding Factors
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor
  • Globins / genetics
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Vertebrates
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Erythroid-Specific DNA-Binding Factors
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor
  • GATA1 protein, human
  • Gata1 protein, mouse
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Globins