PROSITE documentation PDOC00863
Copper-fist DNA-binding domain signature and profile


Some fungal transcription factors contains a N-terminal domain which seems to be involved in copper-dependent DNA-binding [1,2]. Such a domain, called "copper-fist" seem to undergo a conformational change in presence of copper. The proteins that are known to contain such a domain are:

  • Yeast ACE1 (or CUP2), which regulates the expression of the metallothionein gene (CUP1).
  • Candida glabrata AMT1, which also regulates the expression of metallothionein genes (MT-I and MT-II).
  • Yeast MAC1 (CUA1), a regulator of the expression of the FRE1 and CTT1 (catalase) genes.
  • Yarrowia lipolytica copper resistance protein CRF1.
  • Fission yeast metal-binding regulatory protein cuf1.
  • Fission yeast copper homeostasis protein cuf2.

The signature pattern we developed spans the complete length of the domain and includes three cysteines and two histidines that are probably involved in copper-binding.

Last update:

April 2006 / Pattern revised.


Technical section

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

COPPER_FIST_2, PS50073; Copper-fist DNA-binding domain profile  (MATRIX)

COPPER_FIST_1, PS01119; Copper-fist DNA-binding domain signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsThorvaldsen J.L. Sewell A.K. McCowen C.L. Winge D.R.
TitleRegulation of metallothionein genes by the ACE1 and AMT1 transcription factors.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 268:12512-12518(1993).
PubMed ID8509391

2AuthorsJungmann J. Reins H.-A. Lee J. Romeo A. Hassett R. Kosman D. Jentsch S.
TitleMAC1, a nuclear regulatory protein related to Cu-dependent transcription factors is involved in Cu/Fe utilization and stress resistance in yeast.
SourceEMBO J. 12:5051-5056(1993).
PubMed ID8262047

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