The C-terminal domain of the Arabidopsis AtMBD7 protein confers strong chromatin binding activity Academic Article uri icon


  • The Arabidopsis MBD7 (AtMBD7) – a naturally occurring poly MBD protein – was previously found to be functional in binding methylated-CpG dinucleotides in vitro and localized to highly methylated chromocenters in vivo. Furthermore, AtMBD7 has significantly lower mobility within the nucleus conferred by cooperative activity of its three MBD motifs. Here we show that besides the MBD motifs, AtMBD7 possesses a strong chromatin binding domain located at its C-terminus designated sticky-C (StkC). Mutational analysis showed that a glutamic acid residue near the C-terminus is essential though not sufficient for the StkC function. Further analysis demonstrated that this motif can render nuclear proteins highly immobile both in plant and animal cells, without affecting their native subnuclear localization. Thus, the C-terminal, StkC motif plays an important role in fastening AtMBD7 to its chromosomal, CpG-methylated sites. It may be possible to utilize this motif for fastening nuclear proteins to their chromosomal sites both in plant and animal cells for research and gene therapy applications.

publication date

  • December 10, 2009