Book of Abstracts: Albany 2011

category image Albany 2011
Conversation 17
June 14-18 2011
©Adenine Press (2010)

Roles of Z-DNA Binding Proteins in Immunity and Infection

Four different Z-DNA binding proteins have been identified and characterized. Two are normally present in higher eukaryotes. This includes the editing enzyme double-stranded RNA adenosine deaminase (ADAR1) and the double-stranded DNA cytoplasmic receptor of the innate immune system which is active in stimulating interferon production. Each of these proteins has Z-DNA binding domains that are important for certain aspects of their activity.

Two other Z-DNA binding proteins have been identified. One of these is the E3L protein found in pox viruses. In particular vaccinia E3L has been studied, and it plays an active role in the pathogenesis of pox virus infections. Another protein identified in zebra fish and gold fish is a component of the detection system for alerting the cell that a virus has infected it.

All four of these proteins have a similar protein fold. The possibility of other classes of Z-DNA binding proteins will be discussed.

Alexander Rich
Ky Lowenhaupt
Jin-Ah Kwon

Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

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