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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Oct 6;1447(1):51-6.

Menin represses JunD-activated transcription by a histone deacetylase-dependent mechanism.

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  • 1Department of Medical Sciences, Endocrine Oncology Unit, Uppsala University Hospital, S-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.


Recently the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1) tumor suppressor gene was cloned. MEN-1 encodes a nuclear protein, called menin, of hitherto unknown function. In order to investigate the biological function of menin we employed the yeast two-hybrid system to identify menin-interacting proteins. Here we report that menin functions as a transcriptional repressor through interaction with the transcription factor JunD. The interaction is mediated via the N-terminal transcription activation domain of JunD, and the C-terminal part of menin. In transient co-transfection experiments, expression of menin leads to specific repression of JunD transcriptional activity, which is dependent on the integrity of the menin C-terminal region. C-Terminal truncations of the protein not only abolish repression, but increase JunD transcriptional activity, implying the existence of a functional domain separate from the JunD-binding region. Menin-mediated repression is relieved by the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, indicating that deacetylation of histones is an essential component of this repression mechanism, as has recently been demonstrated for the retinoblastoma protein. Missense, in-frame deletions, frameshift and nonsense mutations lead to inactivation of menin or possibly to truncated proteins. This would result in loss of repression of menin/JunD target genes, as well as non-target genes through indirect mechanisms, deregulation of cellular growth control and endocrine tumorigenesis.

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