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The second finger of Urbs1 is required for iron-mediated repression of sid1 in Ustilago maydis

An, Z.Q., Zhao, Q., McEvoy, J., Yuan, W.M., Markley, J.L., Leong, S.A.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997 v.94 no.11 pp. 5882-5887
transcription factors, alleles, loci, biosynthesis, phenotype, regulator genes, amino acid sequences, mutants, siderophores, DNA-binding domains, site-directed mutagenesis, promoter regions, Ustilago zeae
The urbs1 gene encodes a transcriptional regulator of siderophore biosynthesis in Ustilago maydis. Biological and DNA-binding activities of the two putative zinc-finger motifs of Urbs1 were studied by analyzing mutants containing altered finger domains. The mutated urbs1 alleles from three previously described N'-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG) mutants were mapped and cloned by a gap-repair procedure. Sequence analyses revealed single amino acid substitutions in two of the NTG mutants. Both mutations (G-507 to D in urbs1-1 and P-491 to L in urbs1-3), which are located in the Urbs1 C-terminal finger domain, reduced DNA-binding activity by 10-fold and were sufficient to confer a urbs1-minus phenotype. The third NTG urbs1 mutant (urbs1-2) also contained a mutation in one of the conserved amino acids (P-518 to S) in the C-terminal finger domain, but this mutation alone was not sufficient to confer a urbs1-minus phenotype. A second frame shift mutation was identified in urbs1-2 and is necessary for the urbs1-minus phenotype. In an analysis of the function of the N-terminal finger of Urbs1, the conserved amino acid Arg-350 was mutated to leucine. A Urbs1 protein with this mutation complemented a urbs1 null mutant strain. By contrast, a similar mutation in the C-terminal domain abolished the ability of Urbs1 to regulate siderophore biosynthesis and greatly reduced its ability to bind target DNA.