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Cell. 1991 May 17;65(4):551-68.

Cloning, expression, and transcriptional properties of the human enhancer factor TEF-1.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes du CNRS, Unité 184 de Génie Génétique et de Biologie, Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg, France.


We describe the cDNA encoding the SV40 transcriptional enhancer factor 1 (TEF-1) and show that its translation initiates exclusively at an AUU codon in vivo. Cloned TEF-1, which is unrelated to other known transcription factors, specifically binds the SV40 GT-IIC and Sph enhansons. Cloned TEF-1 does not activate these enhansons in lymphoid MPC11 cells where they are known to be inactive, but represses the endogenous HeLa TEF-1 activity in vivo and in vitro. Repression is also observed with chimeras where the DNA-binding domain of the GAL4 activator replaces that of TEF-1, showing that repression results from interference/squelching. Such chimeras stimulate transcription in HeLa, but not in MPC11, cells in vivo and in HeLa cell extracts in vitro. However, high concentrations result in self-interference/squelching. These results strongly suggest that the trans-activation function of TEF-1 is mediated by a highly limiting, possible cell-specific, titratable transcriptional intermediary factor(s).

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