High mobility group
The HMG proteins are subdivided into 3 superfamilies each with a characteristic functional sequence:
- HMGB family, the characteristic is called the HMG-box
- HMGN family, the characteristic is called the nucleosomal binding domain
- HMGA family, the characteristic is called the AT-hook
Proteins containing any of these embedded in their sequence are known as HMG motif proteins. HMG-box proteins are found in a variety of eukaryotic organisms.
HMG proteins are thought to play a significant role in various human disorders. Disruptions and rearrangements in the genes coding for some of the HMG proteins are associated with some common benign tumors. Antibodies to HMG proteins are found in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. The SRY gene on the Y Chromosome, responsible for male sexual differentiation, contains a HMG-Box domain. Recently, a member of the HMG family of proteins, HMGB1, has been shown to have an extracellular activity as a chemokine, attracting neutrophils and mononuclear inflammatory cells to the infected liver.
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