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Br J Cancer. 2011 Apr 12;104(8):1349-55. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.75. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

Multifunctional transcription factor TFII-I is an activator of BRCA1 function.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.



The TFII-I is a multifunctional transcriptional factor known to bind specifically to several DNA sequence elements and to mediate growth factor signalling. A microdeletion at the chromosomal location 7q11.23 encoding TFII-I and the related family of transcription factors may result in the onset of Williams-Beuren syndrome, an autosomal dominant genetic disorder characterised by a unique cognitive profile, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, and craniofacial defects. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene product BRCA1 has been shown to serve as a positive regulator of SIRT1 expression by binding to the promoter region of SIRT1, but cross talk between BRCA1 and TFII-I has not been investigated to date.


A physical interaction between TFII-I and BRCA1 was explored. To determine pathophysiological function of TFII-I, its role as a transcriptional cofactor for BRCA1 was investigated.


We found a physical interaction between the carboxyl terminus of TFII-I and the carboxyl terminus of BRCA1, also known as the BRCT domain. Endogenous TFII-I and BRCA1 form a complex in nuclei of intact cells and formation of irradiation-induced nuclear foci was observed. We also showed that the expression of TFII-I stimulates the transcriptional activation function of BRCT by a transient expression assay. The expression of TFII-I also enhanced the transcriptional activation of the SIRT1 promoter mediated by full-length BRCA1.


These results revealed the intrinsic mechanism that TFII-I may modulate the cellular functions of BRCA1, and provide important implications to understand the development of breast cancer.

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