PROSITE documentation PDOC51031
BESS domain profile


The BESS domain is a ~40 amino acid module that has been named after the three proteins that originally defined the domain: Boundary element associated factor 32, Su(var)3-7, and Stonewall. The BESS domain directs a variety of protein-protein interactions, including interactions with itself, with Dorsal, and with a TBP-associated factor. It is found in a single copy in drosophila proteins and is often associated with the MADF domain (see <PDOC51029>) [1,2,3].

It has been suggested that the BESS domain might be related to the myb/SANT HTH domain. Consistent with the possibility of a relationship to the myb/SANT domain, the BESS domain secondary structure prediction suggests the existence of three α-helices [1,2,3].

Some proteins known to contain a BESS domain are listed below:

  • Drosophila Boundary element associated factor 32 (BEAF-32).
  • Drosophila Suppressor of variegation protein 3-7 (Su(var)3-7). It could play a role in chromosome condensation.
  • Drosophila Ravus. It is homologous to the C-terminal part of Su(var)3-7 [4].
  • Drosophila Stonewall (Stwl), a putative transcription factor required for maintenance of female germline stem cells as well as oocyte differentiation.
  • Drosophila Adf-1, a transcription factor first identified on the basis of its interaction with the alcohol dehydrogenase promoter but that binds the promoters of a diverse group of genes [1].
  • Drosophila Dorsal-interacting protein 3 (Dip3). It functions both as an activator to bind DNA in a sequence specific manner and a coactivator to stimulate synergistic activation by Dorsal and Twist [2].

The profile we developed covers the entire BESS domain.

Last update:

October 2004 / First entry.


Technical section

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

BESS, PS51031; BESS domain profile  (MATRIX)


1AuthorsEngland B.P. Admon A. Tjian R.
TitleCloning of Drosophila transcription factor Adf-1 reveals homology to Myb oncoproteins.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89:683-687(1992).
PubMed ID1731341

2AuthorsCutler G. Perry K.M. Tjian R.
TitleAdf-1 is a nonmodular transcription factor that contains a TAF-binding Myb-like motif.
SourceMol. Cell. Biol. 18:2252-2261(1998).
PubMed ID9528796

3AuthorsBhaskar V. Courey A.J.
TitleThe MADF-BESS domain factor Dip3 potentiates synergistic activation by Dorsal and Twist.
SourceGene 299:173-184(2002).
PubMed ID12459265

4AuthorsDelattre M. Spierer A. Hulo N. Spierer P.
TitleA new gene in Drosophila melanogaster, Ravus, the phantom of the modifier of position-effect variegation Su(var)3-7.
SourceInt. J. Dev. Biol. 46:167-171(2002).
PubMed ID11902679

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