Three members of the Jun/AP-1 family have been identified in mouse cDNA libraries: c-Jun, Jun-B, and Jun-D. We have compared the DNA binding properties of the Jun proteins by using in vitro translation products in gel retardation assays. Each protein was able to bind to the consensus AP-1 site (TGACTCA) and, with lower affinity, to related sequences, including the cyclic AMP response element TGACGTCA. The relative binding to the oligonucleotides tested was similar for the different proteins. The Jun proteins formed homodimers and heterodimers with other members of the family, and they were bound to the AP-1 site as dimers. When Fos translation product was present, DNA binding by Jun increased markedly, and the DNA complex contained Fos. The C-terminal homology region of Jun was sufficient for DNA binding, dimer formation, and interaction with Fos. Our general conclusion is that c-Jun, Jun-B, and Jun-D are similar in their DNA binding properties and in their interaction with Fos. If there are functional differences between them, they are likely to involve other activities of the Jun proteins.
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