The protein encoded by this gene is one subunit of a trimeric complex, forming a highly conserved transcription factor that binds to CCAAT motifs in the promoter regions in a variety of genes. Subunit A associates with a tight dimer composed of the B and C subunits, resulting in a trimer that binds to DNA with high specificity and affinity. The sequence specific interactions of the complex are made by the A subunit, suggesting a role as the regulatory subunit. In addition, there is evidence of post-transcriptional regulation in this gene product, either by protein degradation or control of translation. Further regulation is represented by alternative splicing in the glutamine-rich activation domain, with clear tissue-specific preferences for the two isoforms.
NFYA has been shown to interact with Serum response factor and ZHX1. NFYA, NFYB and NFYC form the NFY complex and it has been shown that the NFY complex serves as a pioneer factor by promoting chromatin accessibility to facilitate other co-localizing cell type-specific transcription factors.
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