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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 May 12;95(10):5474-9.

The basic-helix-loop-helix-PAS orphan MOP3 forms transcriptionally active complexes with circadian and hypoxia factors.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


We report that MOP3 is a general dimerization partner for a subset of the basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-PER-ARNT-SIM (PAS) superfamily of transcriptional regulators. We demonstrated that MOP3 interacts with MOP4, CLOCK, hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF1alpha), and HIF2alpha. A DNA selection protocol revealed that the MOP3-MOP4 heterodimer bound a CACGTGA-containing DNA element. Transient transfection experiments demonstrated that the MOP3-MOP4 and MOP3-CLOCK complexes bound this element in COS-1 cells and drove transcription from a linked luciferase reporter gene. We also deduced the high-affinity DNA binding sites for MOP3-HIF1alpha complex (TACGTGA) and used transient transfection experiments to demonstrate that the MOP3-HIF1alpha and MOP3-HIF2alpha heterodimers bound this element, drove transcription, and responded to cellular hypoxia. Finally, we found that MOP3 mRNA expression overlaps in a number of tissues with each of its four potential partner molecules in vivo.

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