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By David N Cooper, Dr

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1985). A further putative polycistronic gene has been characterized in both mouse and human: the growth/differentiation factor-1 (GDF1) gene is cotranscribed with a gene of unknown function (Uog1) separated from each other by a 269 bp intercistronic region (Lee, 1991). Finally, Reiss et al. 3) gene which contains two overlapping open reading frames (ORF) encoding distinct polypeptides required for the synthesis of molybdenum cofactor. 2 kb mRNA, the first by exons 1–9, the second by exon 10. Stallmeyer et al.

Transcription factors can be grouped into families of related proteins whose relatedness extends to homology in their DNA-binding domains and therefore an ability to bind to related DNA sequences (reviewed by Pabo and Sauer, 1992). Specific transcription factors can thus bind to more than one DNA sequence. Conversely, a single DNA sequence motif may sometimes be bound by more than one transcription factor. DNA-binding domains fall into one of four main groups defined by homologous amino acid sequences that give rise to a particular structure capable of binding DNA: homeodomain, zinc finger, leucine zipper and helix-loop-helix (Pabo and Sauer, 1992).

Transcriptional repressor proteins may bind directly to DNA or exert their repressive effects indirectly by interacting with basal transcription factors, transcriptional activators and co-repressor proteins to inhibit transcription by RNA polymerases (Hanna-Rose and Hansen, 1996). The study of DNA-protein interactions has been enormously facilitated by the use of two techniques: gel retardation analysis (also termed band or mobility shift assays; Dent and Latchman, 1993) and DNase I footprinting (Lakin, 1993).

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