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Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 May 15;28(10):2201-6.

Histone deacetylase-independent transcriptional repression by methyl-CpG-binding protein 2.

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Institut für Medizinische Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, Universitäts-Krankenhaus Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, D-20246 Hamburg, Germany.


Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) contains a transcriptional repression domain (TRD), which can act by recruitment of a large transcriptional co-repressor complex containing histone deacetylases HDAC1 and 2. We demonstrate here that transient transcription from the SV40 enhancer/promoter or the SV40 promoter is strongly repressed in a histone deacetylase-independent manner, since repression is not alleviated by Trichostatin A (TSA). In a mutational analysis, repression depends on a conserved 30 residue sequence containing two clusters of basic amino acids. Mutation of the first of these clusters inhibits in vitro interaction between TRD and mSin3A. Furthermore, a subdomain of the TRD containing the conserved 30-residue sequence and 16 flanking amino acids was sufficient to compromise VP16-activated transcription. In summary, our results indicate an alternative, histone deacetylase-independent pathway of transcriptional repression by MeCP2.

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