Variations of the C2H2 zinc finger motif in the yeast genome and classification of yeast zinc finger proteins

Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 Jun 15;25(12):2464-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/25.12.2464.


The PROSITE pattern Zinc_Finger_C2H2 was extended to permit the detection of all C2H2 zinc fingers and their parent proteins in the recently completed sequence of the yeast genome. Additionally, a new computer program was written that extracts other zinc binding motifs (non C2H2 'fingers'), overlapping with the classical zinc finger pattern, from the found set of yeast C2H2 fingers. The complete and correct detection of all fingers is a prerequisite for the classification of the yeast zinc finger proteins in functional terms. The detected 53 yeast C2H2 zinc finger proteins do not contain finger clusters with 10 or more repeats, as is frequently found in higher eukaryotes. Only three proteins contain four or more fingers in a cluster. Moreover, nearly all 27 yeast proteins with tandem arrays of two or three finger domains can be classified into nine subgroups with high sequence conservation in their finger clusters, in particular of their DNA recognition helices. These results and application of the recently elaborated finger/DNA recognition rules suggest that the yeast proteins belonging to the same subgroup may recognize identical or very similar DNA sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Fungal Proteins / classification
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Information Systems
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Transcription Factor TFIIA
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Transcription Factor TFIIA
  • Transcription Factors