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J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 11;275(6):3810-8.

Identification of the transactivation domain of the transcription factor Sox-2 and an associated co-activator.

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Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198, USA.


The importance of interactions between Sox and POU transcription factors in the regulation of gene expression is becoming increasingly apparent. Recently, many examples of the involvement of Sox-POU partnerships in transcription have been discovered, including a partnership between Sox-2 and Oct-3. Little is known about the mechanisms by which these factors modulate transcription. To better understand the molecular interactions involved, we mapped the location of the transactivation domain of Sox-2. This was done in the context of its interaction with Oct-3, as well as its ability to transactivate as a fusion protein linked to the DNA-binding domain of Gal4. Both approaches demonstrated that Sox-2 contains a transactivation domain in its C-terminal half, containing a serine-rich region and the C terminus. We also determined that the viral oncoprotein E1a inhibits the ability of the Gal4/Sox-2 fusion protein to transactivate, as well as the transcriptional activation mediated by the combined action of Sox-2 and Oct-3. In contrast, a mutant form of E1a, unable to bind p300, lacks both of these effects. Importantly, we determined that p300 overcomes the inhibitory effects of E1a in both assays. Together, these findings suggest that Sox-2 mediates its effects, at least in part, through the co-activator p300.

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