Kathy N Lam

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Are you Kathy N Lam?

Claim your profile

Publications (2)48.19 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cys2-His2 zinc finger (C2H2-ZF) proteins represent the largest class of putative human transcription factors. However, for most C2H2-ZF proteins it is unknown whether they even bind DNA or, if they do, to which sequences. Here, by combining data from a modified bacterial one-hybrid system with protein-binding microarray and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses, we show that natural C2H2-ZFs encoded in the human genome bind DNA both in vitro and in vivo, and we infer the DNA recognition code using DNA-binding data for thousands of natural C2H2-ZF domains. In vivo binding data are generally consistent with our recognition code and indicate that C2H2-ZF proteins recognize more motifs than all other human transcription factors combined. We provide direct evidence that most KRAB-containing C2H2-ZF proteins bind specific endogenous retroelements (EREs), ranging from currently active to ancient families. The majority of C2H2-ZF proteins, including KRAB proteins, also show widespread binding to regulatory regions, indicating that the human genome contains an extensive and largely unstudied adaptive C2H2-ZF regulatory network that targets a diverse range of genes and pathways.
    Nature Biotechnology 02/2015; 33(5). DOI:10.1038/nbt.3128 · 39.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: C2H2 zinc fingers (C2H2-ZFs) are the most prevalent type of vertebrate DNA-binding domain, and typically appear in tandem arrays (ZFAs), with sequential C2H2-ZFs each contacting three (or more) sequential bases. C2H2-ZFs can be assembled in a modular fashion, providing one explanation for their remarkable evolutionary success. Given a set of modules with defined three-base specificities, modular assembly also presents a way to construct artificial proteins with specific DNA-binding preferences. However, a recent survey of a large number of three-finger ZFAs engineered by modular assembly reported high failure rates (∼70%), casting doubt on the generality of modular assembly. Here, we used protein-binding microarrays to analyze 28 ZFAs that failed in the aforementioned study. Most (17) preferred specific sequences, which in all but one case resembled the intended target sequence. Like natural ZFAs, the engineered ZFAs typically yielded degenerate motifs, binding dozens to hundreds of related individual sequences. Thus, the failure of these proteins in previous assays is not due to lack of sequence-specific DNA-binding activity. Our findings underscore the relevance of individual C2H2-ZF sequence specificities within tandem arrays, and support the general ability of modular assembly to produce ZFAs with sequence-specific DNA-binding activity.
    Nucleic Acids Research 02/2011; 39(11):4680-90. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkq1303 · 9.11 Impact Factor