Differential effects of monoclonal antibodies on activating transcription factor-1 and cAMP response element binding protein interactions with DNA

D. J. Orten, J. M. Strawhecker, S. D. Sanderson, D. Huang, M. B. Prystowsky, S. H. Hinrichs

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Activating transcription factor-1 (ATF1) and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) have been implicated in cAMP-, calcium-, and virus-induced transcriptional alterations. Although CREB and ATF1 share extensive homology, they appear to mediate distinct cellular functions. We investigated the effect on DNA binding and in vitro transcription of four monoclonal anti- bodies (mAb) that bound to domains in either the regulatory region (mAb 1 and 3) or unique regions near the DNA-binding domains (mAb 4 and 5) of ATF1. mAb 1 and 3 supershifted both ATF1 and CREB in a DNA binding assay but did not affect in vitro transcription. mAb 4 prevented ATF1-DNA binding while supershifting CREB·DNA complexes and inhibited in vitro transcription by 95% from the CRE-containing murine proliferating cell nuclear antigen promoter. mAb 5 reacted specifically with ATF1 and did not prevent DNA binding or affect in vitro transcription. The mAb 4 epitope was located within ATF1 amino acid residues 205-219, including the first 3 basic residues in the putative DNA-binding domain. Secondary structural analysis predicted that this region comprises a transition site from α-helix to a turn-like conformation in ATF1. The transition to turn-like motifs is predicted to occur in CREB after 5 additional residues, with a correspondingly longer α- helical domain. Although regulatory domains distinct from DNA binding regions are thought to account for most of the differences in activity of members of the CREB subfamily, our results suggest that small structural variations adjacent to DNA binding regions may also contribute to the distinct functional activities of ATF1 and CREB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32254-32263
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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