Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms

Identification of functional domains in TdIF1 and its inhibitory mechanism for TdT activity.

PMID 17663723


TdT interacting factor 1 (TdIF1) was identified as a protein that binds to terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase (TdT) to negatively regulate TdT activity. TdT is a template-independent DNA polymerase that catalyzes the incorporation of deoxynucleotides to the 3'-hydroxyl end of DNA templates to increase the junctional diversity of immunoglobulin or T-cell receptor (TcR) genes. Here, using bioinformatics analysis, we identified the TdT binding, DNA binding and dimerization regions, and nuclear localization signal (NLS) in TdIF1. TdIF1 bound to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) through three DNA binding regions: residues 1-75, the AT-hook-like motif (ALM) and the predicted helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif. ALM in TdIF1 preferentially bound to AT-rich DNA regions. NLS was of the bipartite type and overlapped ALM. TdIF1 bound to the Pol beta-like region in TdT and blocked TdT access to DNA ends. In the presence of dsDNA, however, TdIF1 bound to dsDNA to release TdT from the TdIF1/TdT complex and to exhibit TdT activity, implying that active TdT released microenvironmentally concentrates around AT-rich DNA to synthesize DNA.