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J Mol Biol. 2002 Jul 12;320(3):629-44.

Hetero-oligomerization among the TIF family of RBCC/TRIM domain-containing nuclear cofactors: a potential mechanism for regulating the switch between coactivation and corepression.

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  • 1The Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The RING-B box-coiled-coil (RBCC) motif (also re-named recently as the tripartite motif (TRIM)) is a widely distributed motif that is hypothesized to be a protein-protein interface. The RBCC/TRIM domain of the corepressor KAP-1 is both necessary and sufficient to interact directly with the transcription repressor KRAB domain. Each subdomain of the KAP-1-RBCC contributes directly to the oligomerization and/or ligand recognition. Little is known about the function or the natural binding ligands for the RBCC/TRIM domain of the other TIF family members. In order to investigate whether hetero-oligomerization might be a biological regulatory mechanism, we have evaluated the hetero-oligomerization potential of the TIF family members including KAP-1, TIF1alpha, TIF1gamma, and the RBCC/TRIM family members including PML1, and MID1. We have reconstituted and characterized the oligomerization for these proteins using baculovirus and mammalian expression systems by biochemical approaches. Our data indicate that the RBCC/TRIM domains of KAP-1, TIF1alpha and TIF1gamma exist in a homo-oligomeric state. However, there is little cross-talk between KAP-1 and other TIF family members, suggesting that a high degree of specificity for oligomerization interface and ligand recognition is intrinsically built into the RBCC/TRIM domain of KAP-1. Finally, we demonstrate that TIF1alpha interacts with TIF1gamma and the coiled-coil region of TIF1gamma is necessary for this interaction. The hetero-oligomerization between TIF1alpha and TIF1gamma implies a potential regulatory mechanism for transcriptional regulation.

(c) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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