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Mol Endocrinol. 2010 Apr;24(4):754-65. doi: 10.1210/me.2008-0359. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Corepressors TLE1 and TLE3 interact with HESX1 and PROP1.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Pituitary hormone deficiency causes short stature in one in 4000 children born and can be caused by mutations in transcription factor genes, including HESX1, PROP1, and POU1F1. HESX1 interacts with a member of the groucho-related gene family, TLE1, through an engrailed homology domain and represses PROP1 activity. Mice with Prop1 deficiency exhibit failed differentiation of the POU1F1 lineage, resulting in lack of TSH, GH, and prolactin. In addition, these mutants exhibit profound pituitary dysmorphology and excess Hesx1 and Tle3 expression. The ability of HESX1 to interact with TLE3 has not been explored previously. We tested the ability of TLE3 to enhance HESX1-mediated repression of PROP1 in cell culture. Both TLE3 and TLE1 repress PROP1 in conjunction with HESX1 with similar efficiencies. TLE1 and TLE3 can each repress PROP1 in the absence of HESX1 via a protein-protein interaction. We tested the functional consequences of ectopic TLE3 and HESX1 expression in transgenic mice by driving constitutive expression in pituitary thyrotrophs and gonadotrophs. Terminal differentiation of these cells was suppressed by HESX1 alone and by TLE3 and HESX1 together but not by TLE3 alone. In summary, we present evidence that HESX1 is a strong repressor that can be augmented by the corepressors TLE1 and TLE3. Our in vitro studies suggest that TLE1 and TLE3 might also play roles independent of HESX1 by interacting with other transcription factors like PROP1.

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