The Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) Is a DNA-binding Protein

Pradeep G. Kumar, Malini Laloraya, Cong Yi Wang, Quin Guo Ruan, Abdoreza Davoodi-Semiromi, Kuo Jang Kao, Jin-Xiong She

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


The autoimmune regulator (AIRE) protein is a putative transcription regulator with two plant homeodomain-type zinc fingers, a putative DNA-binding domain (SAND), and four nuclear receptor binding LXXLL motifs. We have shown here that in vitro, recombinant AIRE can form homodimers and homotetramers that were also detected in thymic protein extracts. Recombinant AIRE also oligomerizes spontaneously upon phosphorylation by cAMP dependent protein kinase A or protein kinase C. Similarly, thymic AIRE protein is phosphorylated at the tyrosine and serine/threonine residues. AIRE dimers and tetramers, but not the monomers, can bind to G-doublets with the ATTGGTTA motif and the TTATTA-box. Competition assays revealed that sequences with one TTATTA motif and two tandem repeats of ATTGGTTA had the highest binding affinity. These findings demonstrate that AIRE is an important DNA binding molecule involved in immune regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41357-41364
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 2 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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