Recombinant antibodies capable of sequence-specific interactions with nucleic acids represent a class of DNA- and RNA-binding proteins with potential for broad application in basic research and medicine. We describe the rational design of a DNA-binding antibody, Fab-Ebox, by replacing a variable segment of the immunoglobulin heavy chain with a 17-amino acid domain derived from TFEB, a class B basic helix-loop-helix protein. DNA-binding activity was studied by electrophoretic mobility-shift assays in which Fab-Ebox was shown to form a specific complex with DNA containing the TFEB recognition motif (CACGTG). Similarities were found in the abilities of TFEB and Fab-Ebox to discriminate between oligodeoxyribonucleotides containing altered recognition sequences. Comparable interference of binding by methylation of cytosine residues indicated that Fab-Ebox and TFEB both contact DNA through interactions along the major groove of double-stranded DNA. The results of this study indicate that DNA-binding antibodies of high specificity can be developed by using the modular nature of both immunoglobulins and transcription factors.