Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.374, No.4, 653-657, 2008
Physcomitrella HMGA-type proteins display structural differences compared to their higher plant counterparts
High mobility group (HMG) proteins of the HMGA family are chromatin-associated proteins that act as architectural factors in nucleoprotein structures involved in gene transcription. To date, HMGA-type proteins have been studied in various higher plant species, but not in lower plants. We have identified two HMGA-type proteins, HMGA1 and HMGA2, encoded in the genome of the moss model Physcomitrella patens. Compared to higher plant HMGA proteins, the two Physcomitrella Proteins display some structural differences. Thus, the moss HMGA proteins have six (rather than four) AT-hook DNA-binding motifs and their N-terminal domain lacks similarity to linker histone H1. HMGA2 is expressed in moss protonema and it localises to the cell nucleus. Typical of HMGA proteins, HMGA2 interacts preferentially with A/T-rich DNA, when compared with G/C-rich DNA. In cotransformation assays in Physcomitrella protoplasts, HMGA2 stimulated reporter gene expression. In summary, our data show that functional HMGA-type proteins occur in Physcomitrella. (c) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.