Escherichia coli CspA, a major cold shock protein, is dramatically induced upon temperature downshift. As it binds co-operatively to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and RNA without apparent sequence specificity, it has been proposed that CspA acts as an RNA chaperone to facilitate transcription and translation at low temperature. CspA consists of a five-stranded β-barrel structure containing two RNA-binding motifs, RNP1 and RNP2. Eukaryotic Y-box proteins, such as human YB-1, are a family of nucleic acid-binding proteins that share a region of high homology with CspA (43% identity), termed the cold shock domain (CSD). Their cellular functions are very diverse and are associated with growth-related processes. Here, we replaced the six-residue loop region of CspA between the β3 and β4 strands with the corresponding region of the CSD of human YB-1 protein. The resulting hybrid protein became capable of binding to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) in addition to ssDNA and RNA. The dsDNA-binding ability of an RNP1 point mutant (F20L) of the hybrid was almost unchanged. On the other hand, the dsDNA-binding ability of the hybrid protein was abolished in high salt concentrations in contrast to its ssDNA-binding ability. These results indicate that the loop region between the β3 and β4 strands of Ybox proteins, which is a little longer and more basic than that of CspA, plays an important role in their binding to dsDNA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology