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EMBO J. May 17, 1999; 18(10): 2812–2822.
PMCID: PMC1171362

Transcriptional cofactors of the FOG family interact with GATA proteins by means of multiple zinc fingers.


Friend of GATA-1 (FOG-1) is a zinc finger protein that has been shown to interact physically with the erythroid DNA-binding protein GATA-1 and modulate its transcriptional activity. Recently, two new members of the FOG family have been identified: a mammalian protein, FOG-2, that also associates with GATA-1 and other mammalian GATA factors; and U-shaped, a Drosophila protein that interacts with the Drosophila GATA protein Pannier. FOG proteins contain multiple zinc fingers and it has been shown previously that the sixth finger of FOG-1 interacts specifically with the N-finger but not the C-finger of GATA-1. Here we show that fingers 1, 5 and 9 of FOG-1 also interact with the N-finger of GATA-1 and that FOG-2 and U-shaped also contain multiple GATA-interacting fingers. We define the key contact residues and show that these residues are highly conserved in GATA-interacting fingers. We examine the effect of selectively mutating the four interacting fingers of FOG-1 and show that each contributes to FOG-1's ability to modulate GATA-1 activity. Finally, we show that FOG-1 can repress GATA-1-mediated activation and present evidence that this ability involves the recently described CtBP co-repressor proteins that recognize all known FOG proteins.

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Selected References

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