Due to scheduled maintenance work, this service may not be available on Monday January 22nd between 08.00 am and 9.00 am CEST.
To improve security and privacy, we are moving our web pages and services from HTTP to HTTPS.
To give users of web services time to transition to HTTPS, we will support separate HTTP and HTTPS services until the end of 2017.
From January 2018 most HTTP traffic will be automatically redirected to HTTPS. [more...]
View this page in https
PROSITE documentation PDOC00300 [for PROSITE entry PS00344]

GATA-type zinc finger domain signature and profile


The GATA family of transcription factors are proteins that bind to DNA sites with the consensus sequence (A/T)GATA(A/G), found within the regulatory region of a number of genes. Proteins currently known to belong to this family are:

  • GATA-1 [1] (also known as Eryf1, GF-1 or NF-E1), which binds to the GATA region of globin genes and other genes expressed in erythroid cells. It is a transcriptional activator which probably serves as a general 'switch' factor for erythroid development.
  • GATA-2 [2], a transcriptional activator which regulates endothelin-1 gene expression in endothelial cells.
  • GATA-3 [3], a transcriptional activator which binds to the enhancer of the T-cell receptor α and delta genes.
  • GATA-4 [4], a transcriptional activator expressed in endodermally derived tissues and heart.
  • Drosophila protein pannier (or DGATAa) (gene pnr) which acts as a repressor of the achaete-scute complex (as-c).
  • Bombyx mori BCFI [5], which regulates the expression of chorion genes.
  • Caenorhabditis elegans elt-1 and elt-2, transcriptional activators of genes containing the GATA region, including vitellogenin genes [6].
  • Ustilago maydis urbs1 [7], a protein involved in the repression of the biosynthesis of siderophores.
  • Fission yeast protein GAF2.

All these transcription factors contain a pair of highly similar 'zinc finger' type domains with the consensus sequence C-x2-C-x17-C-x2-C.

Some other proteins contain a single zinc finger motif highly related to those of the GATA transcription factors. These proteins are:

  • Drosophila box A-binding factor (ABF) (also known as protein serpent (gene srp)) which may function as a transcriptional activator protein and may play a key role in the organogenesis of the fat body.
  • Emericella nidulans areA [8], a transcriptional activator which mediates nitrogen metabolite repression.
  • Neurospora crassa nit-2 [9], a transcriptional activator which turns on the expression of genes coding for enzymes required for the use of a variety of secondary nitrogen sources, during conditions of nitrogen limitation.
  • Neurospora crassa white collar proteins 1 and 2 (WC-1 and WC-2), which control expression of light-regulated genes.
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae DAL81 (or UGA43), a negative nitrogen regulatory protein.
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae GLN3, a positive nitrogen regulatory protein.
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae GAT1 to GAT4.
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae GZF3.
Last update:

April 2006 / Pattern revised.

Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

GATA_ZN_FINGER_1, PS00344; GATA-type zinc finger domain  (PATTERN)

GATA_ZN_FINGER_2, PS50114; GATA-type zinc finger domain profile  (MATRIX)


1AuthorsTrainor C.D., Evans T., Felsenfeld G., Boguski M.S.
TitleStructure and evolution of a human erythroid transcription factor.
SourceNature 343:92-96(1990).
PubMed ID2104960

2AuthorsLee M.E., Temizer D.H., Clifford J.A., Quertermous T.
TitleCloning of the GATA-binding protein that regulates endothelin-1 gene expression in endothelial cells.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 266:16188-16192(1991).
PubMed ID1714909

3AuthorsHo I.-C., Vorhees P., Marin N., Oakley B.K., Tsai S.-F., Orkin S.H., Leiden J.M.
TitleHuman GATA-3: a lineage-restricted transcription factor that regulates the expression of the T cell receptor alpha gene.
SourceEMBO J. 10:1187-1192(1991).
PubMed ID1827068

4AuthorsSpieth J., Shim Y.H., Lea K., Conrad R., Blumenthal T.
Titleelt-1, an embryonically expressed Caenorhabditis elegans gene homologous to the GATA transcription factor family.
SourceMol. Cell. Biol. 11:4651-4659(1991).
PubMed ID1875944

5AuthorsDrevet J.R., Skeiky Y.A., Iatrou K.
TitleGATA-type zinc finger motif-containing sequences and chorion gene transcription factors of the silkworm Bombyx mori.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 269:10660-10667(1994).
PubMed ID8144656

6AuthorsHawkins M.G., McGhee J.D.
Titleelt-2, a second GATA factor from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 270:14666-14671(1995).
PubMed ID7782329

7AuthorsVoisard C.P.O., Wang J., McEvoy J.L., Xu P., Leong S.A.
Titleurbs1, a gene regulating siderophore biosynthesis in Ustilago maydis, encodes a protein similar to the erythroid transcription factor GATA-1.
SourceMol. Cell. Biol. 13:7091-7100(1993).
PubMed ID8413298

8AuthorsArst H.N. Jr., Kudla B., Martinez-Rossi N., Caddick M.X., Sibley S., Davies R.W.
TitleAspergillus and mouse share a new class of 'zinc finger' protein.
SourceTrends Genet. 5:291-291(1989).
PubMed ID2511649

9AuthorsFu Y.-H., Marzluf G.-A.
Titlenit-2, the major nitrogen regulatory gene of Neurospora crassa, encodes a protein with a putative zinc finger DNA-binding domain.
SourceMol. Cell. Biol. 10:1056-1065(1990).
PubMed ID2137552

PROSITE is copyright. It is produced by the SIB Swiss Institute Bioinformatics. There are no restrictions on its use by non-profit institutions as long as its content is in no way modified. Usage by and for commercial entities requires a license agreement. For information about the licensing scheme send an email to
Prosite License or see: prosite_license.html.


View entry in original PROSITE document format
View entry in raw text format (no links)