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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Feb 15, 1993; 90(4): 1580–1584.
PMCID: PMC45918

The activation domain of transcription factor PU.1 binds the retinoblastoma (RB) protein and the transcription factor TFIID in vitro: RB shows sequence similarity to TFIID and TFIIB.

Abstract

The retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor protein and the TATA-box-binding protein TFIID form contacts with a number of viral transactivator proteins. One of these, the adenovirus E1A protein, can bind to both proteins. Here we present evidence that the cellular transcription factor PU.1 can bind to both RB and TFIID. Like E1A, PU.1 binds to the conserved C-terminal domain of TFIID and to the RB "pocket" domain. The PU.1 sequences required to bind either protein lie within a 75-amino acid region which functions as an independent activation domain in vivo. The ability of PU.1 to contact directly both RB and TFIID through the same 75-residue domain prompted us to look for sequence similarity between these two proteins. We find that the previously defined domain A of the RB pocket shows sequence similarity to the conserved C terminus of TFIID, whereas domain B shows sequence similarity to a second general transcription factor, TFIIB. The potential for RB to influence transcription by using TFIID- and TFIIB-related functions is discussed.

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