|PROSITE documentation PDOC50809|
The DM (Doublesex/Mab-3) domain is found in proteins from worm to mammals. Null mutation in DM domain containing proteins doublesex and mab-3 are associated with intersexual phenotypes. These proteins are believed to function as transcription factors on downstream sex-determination genes, especially on neuroblast differenciation and yolk protein genes transcription [1,2].
The DM domain binds DNA as a dimer, allowing the recognition of pseudopalindromic sequences [3,4,5]. The NMR analysis of the DSX DM domain  revealed a novel zinc module containing 'intertwined' CCHC and HCCC zinc-binding sites. The recognition of the DNA requires the carboxy-terminal basic tail which contacts the minor groove of the target sequence.
The way the 'intertwined' motif is binding two atoms of zinc is illustrated in the following schematic representation:
x x basic tail x x x Cter x x x x H C x x \ / x x x Zn x Nter x x x x x x x x x C x x C / \ x x \ / C x C x Zn x x / \ x HxxxC x
'C': conserved cysteine involved in zinc binding. 'H': conserved histidine involved in zinc binding. 'Zn': zinc atom.
Some of the proteins containing a DM domain are listed below.
As a signature pattern for the DM domain, we selected the six cysteines and the two histidines of the zinc module. We also developed a profile that covers the whole DM domain.Last update:
December 2001 / First entry.
PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:
|1||Authors||Burtis K.C. Coschigano K.T. Baker B.S. Wensink P.C.|
|Title||The doublesex proteins of Drosophila melanogaster bind directly to a sex-specific yolk protein gene enhancer.|
|Source||EMBO J. 10:2577-2582(1991).|
|2||Authors||Shen M.M. Hodgkin J.|
|Title||mab-3, a gene required for sex-specific yolk protein expression and a male-specific lineage in C. elegans.|
|3||Authors||Erdman S.E. Chen H.J. Burtis K.C.|
|Title||Functional and genetic characterization of the oligomerization and DNA binding properties of the Drosophila doublesex proteins.|
|4||Authors||Yi W. Zarkower D.|
|Title||Similarity of DNA binding and transcriptional regulation by Caenorhabditis elegans MAB-3 and Drosophila melanogaster DSX suggests conservation of sex determining mechanisms.|
|5||Authors||Zhu L. Wilken J. Phillips N.B. Narendra U. Chan G. Stratton S.M. Kent S.B. Weiss M.A.|
|Title||Sexual dimorphism in diverse metazoans is regulated by a novel class of intertwined zinc fingers.|
|Source||Genes Dev. 14:1750-1764(2000).|