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The name of the R3H domain comes from the characteristic spacing of the most conserved arginine and histidine residues. The function of the domain is predicted to be binding ssDNA.
The R3H domain is a conserved sequence motif found in proteins from a diverse range of organisms including eubacteria, green plants, fungi and various groups of metazoans, but not in archaea and Escherichia coli. The domain is named R3H because it contains an invariant arginine and a highly conserved histidine, that are separated by three residues. It also displays a conserved pattern of hydrophobic residues, prolines and glycines. It can be found alone, in association with AAA domain or with various DNA/RNA binding domains like DSRM, KH, G-patch, PHD, DEAD box, or RRM. The functions of these domains indicate that the R3H domain might be involved in polynucleotide-binding, including DNA, RNA and single-stranded DNA [PUBMED:9787637].