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Exp Hematol. 2004 Dec;32(12):1173-81.

Protein partners of C/EBPepsilon.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, Calif. 90048, USA.


CCAAT-enhancer binding protein-epsilon (C/EBPepsilon) is a nuclear transcription factor implicated in the regulation of terminal myeloid differentiation. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, potential interaction partners of C/EBPepsilon involved in myeloid development were identified. C/EBPepsilon was found to associate with other C/EBP family members, including C/EBPepsilon and CHOP as well as other proteins that are known to contain a leucine-zipper protein interaction motif including CREB2, LDOC1, E6TP1, and AF-17. In addition, C/EBPepsilon demonstrated the potential for interaction with proteins that do not possess a leucine-zipper motif, including proteins that may be involved in sumoylation (protein inhibitor of activated STAT1 [PIAS1] and ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2I). As expected, the association of C/EBPepsilon with other C/EBP family members depends on the presence of a functional leucine-zipper motif. Mapping studies of C/EBPepsilon with PIAS1 (as an example of a nonleucine-zipper-containing protein) showed that C/EBPepsilon interacts with the amino-terminal domain of PIAS1. The function of C/EBPepsilon interacting proteins was further investigated. Co-expression of C/EBPepsilon with C/EBPdelta resulted in potent transactivation in a lactoferrin reporter system. A gel mobility shift assay suggests that C/EBPepsilon, C/EBPalpha, and C/EBPdelta proteins can bind as heterodimers to a C/EBP consensus DNA-binding site. As CHOP is known to represent a transcriptional repressor, the functional interaction between C/EBPepsilon and CHOP was investigated. Co-expression of C/EBPepsilon and c-Myb with CHOP caused marked transcriptional repression of target reporter genes. Our results suggest heterodimeric partners of C/EBPepsilon modulate the function of C/EBPepsilon in mediating gene transcription during myelopoiesis.

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