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Gene. 2003 Dec 24;323:133-40.

The mouse zinc-fingers and homeoboxes (ZHX) family; ZHX2 forms a heterodimer with ZHX3.

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CREST, JST (Japan Science and Technology), 910-1193, Fukui, Japan.


Human zinc-fingers and homeoboxes (ZHX) 1, ZHX2 and ZHX3, members of the ZHX family, contain two Cys(2)-His(2)-type zinc-finger motifs and five homeodomains (HDs). These proteins not only form homodimers but heterodimers with ZHX1 as well and act as ubiquitous transcriptional repressors. The cloning of mouse ZHX2 and ZHX3 cDNAs and the corresponding genes from a 129 mouse genomic library are reported, along with an analysis of the heterodimerization of ZHX2 with ZHX3. The mouse ZHX2 and ZHX3 proteins consist of 836 and 951 amino acid residues, respectively. The similarity of amino acid sequences of each protein with those of human orthologue is 87.0% and 85.2%, respectively. An analysis of genomic clones revealed that an entire coding sequence and a portion of the 5'- and 3'-noncoding sequence of mouse ZHX2 cDNA are encoded by a single exon of the mouse ZHX2 gene as well as the mouse ZHX1 gene. In contrast, in the case of the mouse ZHX3 gene, the coding sequences of ZHX3 cDNA are separated by an intron. A 4.5-kb ZHX2 transcript, and three ZHX3 transcripts, 9.5-, 6.5- and 4.4-kb, are ubiquitously expressed, although their levels vary. Lastly, in vitro and in vivo protein-protein interaction assays revealed that ZHX2 is able to form a heterodimer with ZHX3 via a region containing each HD1.

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