Introduction to MADS-box genes

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The Arabidopsis genome contains a large family of MADS-box genes (approximately 30 to date have been cloned), and many of these play important roles in flower development. The MADS-box itself is a conserved region found at the 5' of all plant MADS-box genes. It encodes a DNA-binding domain found in other eukaryotic transcription factors, such as MCM1 from yeast, and SRF found in humans.

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The K-box is a region that codes for a protein domain that shows some similarity to the coiled coil structure of keratin. It is thought to be involved in protein-protein interactions. The MADS-box and K-box are separated by a weakly conserved Intervening (I) region, and a few MADS-box genes have an amino-terminal extension (N). The Carboxyl-terminal (C) region may function as a transcriptional activation domain.

Selected References

J. L. Riechmann and E. M. Meyerowitz, Biological Chemistry 378:1079-1101, 1997.

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