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Mol Cell Biol. 1998 Jan;18(1):10-8.

Involvement of negative cofactor NC2 in active repression by zinc finger-homeodomain transcription factor AREB6.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Jichi Medical School, Kawachi, Tochigi, Japan.


The transcription factor AREB6 contains a homeodomain flanked by two clusters of Krüppel type C2H2 zinc fingers. AREB6 binds to the E-box consensus sequence, CACCTGT, through either the N- or the C-terminal zinc finger cluster. To gain insights into the molecular mechanism by which AREB6 activates and represses gene expression, we analyzed the domain structure of AREB6 in the context of a heterologous DNA-binding domain by transient-transfection assays. The C-terminal region spanning amino acids 1011 to 1124 was identified as a conventional acidic activation domain. The region containing amino acids 754 to 901, which was identified as a repression domain, consists of 40% hydrophobic amino acids displaying no sequence similarities to other known repression domains. This region repressed transcription in vitro in a HeLa nuclear extract but not in reconstituted transcription systems consisting of transcription factor IID (TFIID), TFIIB, TFIIE, TFIIH/F, and RNA polymerase II. The addition of recombinant negative cofactor NC2 (NC2alpha/DRAP1 and NC2beta/Dr1) to the reconstituted transcription system restored the activity of the AREB6 repression domain. We further demonstrated interactions between the AREB6 repression domain and NC2alpha in yeast two-hybrid assay. Our findings suggest a mechanism of transcriptional repression that is mediated by the general cofactor NC2.

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