Full-length SRY protein is essential for DNA binding

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SRY directs testicular development. It has been suggested that the only high-mobility group (HMG) box of the SRY is important for the function of this protein; however, other studies have suggested that the N- and C-terminal regions are also involved in this process. Herein, we analysed and compared in vitro the DNA-binding activity of the full-length SRY and three mutants (HMG box alone, N-terminal less and C-terminal less SRY proteins). DNA-binding capability was analysed by mobility shift assays, optical density and dissociation constant by using pure non-fusion SRY proteins. The structure of the full-length SRY was carried out using a protein molecular model. The HMG box SRY alone and C-terminal less SRY proteins had a statistically diminished DNA binding in comparison with the full-length SRY. In contrast, the affinity for DNA of the N-terminal less SRY was relatively similar to the full-length SRY. Likewise, three-dimensional structure of the full-length SRY suggested that some residues of the C-terminal region of the SRY interact with DNA. We demonstrate the importance that full-length SRY has, particularly the C-terminal region of the protein, in DNA binding in vitro. Likewise, the affinity of the HMG box alone is clearly reduced when compared with the full-length SRY.

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