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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jun 6;278(23):20507-13. Epub 2003 Mar 25.

Human PLU-1 Has transcriptional repression properties and interacts with the developmental transcription factors BF-1 and PAX9.

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  • 1Centre for Structural Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College London, Armstrong Road, London SW7 2AZ.


PLU-1 is a large (1544 amino acids) nuclear protein that is highly expressed in breast cancers and is proposed to function as a regulator of gene expression. A yeast two-hybrid screen using PLU-1 as bait has identified two unrelated PLU-1 interacting proteins, namely brain factor-1 (BF-1) and paired box 9 (PAX9), both of which are developmental transcription factors. BF-1 and PAX9 interact with PLU-1 via a novel conserved sequence motif (Ala-X-Ala-Ala-X-Val-Pro-X4-Val-Pro-X8-Pro, termed the VP motif), because deletion or site-directed mutagenesis of this motif in either protein abolishes PLU-1 interaction in vivo. In a reporter assay system, PLU-1 has potent transcriptional repression activity. BF-1 and PAX9 also represses transcription in the same assay, but co-expression of PLU-1 with BF-1 or PAX9 significantly enhances this repression. Mutation of the PLU-1 binding motifs in BF-1 and PAX9 abolishes the observed PLU-1 co-repression activity. These data support a role for PLU-1 acting as a transcriptional co-repressor of two unrelated developmental transcription factors. Because both BF-1 and PAX proteins interact with members of the groucho co-repressor family, it is plausible that PLU-1 has a role in groucho-mediated transcriptional repression.

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