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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2009 Sep;8(9):2034-50. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M900013-MCP200. Epub 2009 Jun 7.

Complementary quantitative proteomics reveals that transcription factor AP-4 mediates E-box-dependent complex formation for transcriptional repression of HDM2.

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Chemical Biology and Molecular Biophysics Program, Taiwan International Graduate Program, Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan.


Transcription factor activating enhancer-binding protein 4 (AP-4) is a basic helix-loop-helix protein that binds to E-box elements. AP-4 has received increasing attention for its regulatory role in cell growth and development, including transcriptional repression of the human homolog of murine double minute 2 (HDM2), an important oncoprotein controlling cell growth and survival, by an unknown mechanism. Here we demonstrate that AP-4 binds to an E-box located in the HDM2-P2 promoter and represses HDM2 transcription in a p53-independent manner. Incremental truncations of AP-4 revealed that the C-terminal Gln/Pro-rich domain was essential for transcriptional repression of HDM2. To further delineate the molecular mechanism(s) of AP-4 transcriptional control and its potential implications, we used DNA-affinity purification followed by complementary quantitative proteomics, cICAT and iTRAQ labeling methods, to identify a previously unknown E-box-bound AP-4 protein complex containing 75 putative components. The two labeling methods complementarily quantified differentially AP-4-enriched proteins, including the most significant recruitment of DNA damage response proteins, followed by transcription factors, transcriptional repressors/corepressors, and histone-modifying proteins. Specific interaction of AP-4 with CCCTC binding factor, stimulatory protein 1, and histone deacetylase 1 (an AP-4 corepressor) was validated using AP-4 truncation mutants. Importantly, inclusion of trichostatin A did not alleviate AP-4-mediated repression of HDM2 transcription, suggesting a previously unidentified histone deacetylase-independent repression mechanism. In contrast, the complementary quantitative proteomics study suggested that transcription repression occurs via coordination of AP-4 with other transcription factors, histone methyltransferases, and/or a nucleosome remodeling SWI.SNF complex. In addition to previously known functions of AP-4, our data suggest that AP-4 participates in a transcriptional-regulating complex at the HDM2-P2 promoter in response to DNA damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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