Role of the CCAAT-binding protein CBF/NF-Y in transcription

Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 May;23(5):174-8. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(98)01201-8.


The CCAAT motif is one of the common promoter elements present in the proximal promoter of numerous mammalian genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II. CBF (also called NF-Y and CP1) consists of three different subunits and interacts specifically with the CCAAT motif. In each CBF subunit, the segment needed for formation of the CBF-DNA complex is conserved from yeast to human and, interestingly, the conserved segment of two CBF subunits, CBF-A and CBF-C, are homologous to the histone-fold motif of eukaryotic histones and archaebacterial histone-like protein HMf-2. The histone fold motifs of CBF-A and CBF-C interact with each other to form a heterodimer that associates with CBF-B to form a heterotrimeric CBF molecule, which then binds to DNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Core Binding Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Core Binding Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Transcription Factors