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Oncogene. 2001 May 31;20(25):3281-9.

The synovial sarcoma associated protein SYT interacts with the acute leukemia associated protein AF10.

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Department of Human Genetics, University Hospital, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


As a result of the synovial sarcoma associated t(X;18) translocation, the human SYT gene on chromosome 18 is fused to either the SSX1 or the SSX2 gene on the X chromosome. Although preliminary evidence indicates that the (fusion) proteins encoded by these genes may play a role in transcriptional regulation, little is known about their exact function. We set out to isolate interacting proteins through yeast two hybrid screening of a human cDNA library using SYT as a bait. Of the positive clones isolated, two were found to correspond to the acute leukemia t(10;11) associated AF10 gene, a fusion partner of MLL. Confirmation of these results was obtained via co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous and exogenous, epitope-tagged, SYT and AF10 proteins from cell line extracts and colocalization of epitope-tagged SYT and AF10 proteins in transfected cells. Subsequent sequential mutation analysis revealed a highly specific interaction of N-terminal SYT fragments with C-terminal AF10 fragments. The N-terminal interaction domain of the SYT protein was also found to be present in several SYT orthologs and homologs. The C-terminal interaction domain of AF10 is located outside known functional domains. Based on these results, a model is proposed in which the SYT and AF10 proteins act in concert as bipartite transcription factors. This model has implications for the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of both human synovial sarcomas and acute leukemias.

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