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EMBO J. 2006 May 17;25(10):2119-30. Epub 2006 Apr 20.

The FUSE/FBP/FIR/TFIIH system is a molecular machine programming a pulse of c-myc expression.

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Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-1500, USA.


FarUpStream Element (FUSE) Binding Protein (FBP) binds the human c-myc FUSE in vitro only in single-stranded or supercoiled DNA. Because transcriptionally generated torsion melts FUSE in vitro even in linear DNA, and FBP/FBP Interacting Repressor (FIR) regulates transcription through TFIIH, these components have been speculated to be the mechanosensor (FUSE) and effectors (FBP/FIR) of a real-time mechanism controlling c-myc transcription. To ascertain whether the FUSE/FBP/FIR system operates according to this hypothesis in vivo, the flux of activators, repressors and chromatin remodeling complexes on the c-myc promoter was monitored throughout the serum-induced pulse of transcription. After transcription was switched on by conventional factors and chromatin regulators, FBP and FIR were recruited and established a dynamically remodeled loop with TFIIH at the P2 promoter. In XPB cells carrying mutant TFIIH, loop formation failed and the serum response was abnormal; RNAi depletion of FIR similarly disabled c-myc regulation. Engineering FUSE into episomal vectors predictably re-programmed metallothionein-promoter-driven reporter expression. The in vitro recruitment of FBP and FIR to dynamically stressed c-myc DNA paralleled the in vivo process.

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