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Genes Cells. 2009 Oct;14(10):1183-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2443.2009.01344.x. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Transactivation activity of LBP-1 proteins and their dimerization in living cells.

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Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan.


LBP-1 proteins form dimers and act as transcription factors that activate a number of genes related to cell growth and differentiation. LBP-1a and LBP-1c are localized in the cytoplasm when transiently expressed in cultured cells, but translocated into the nucleus after forming heterodimers with LBP-1b, which is a splicing variant of LBP-1a with an intrinsic nuclear localization signal (NLS). Here, we report that LBP-1b showed potent transactivation activity, and that forcibly expressed LBP-1a and LBP-1c in the nucleus essentially exhibited very little or no transactivation activity. Mutations in the NLS that abolished the NLS activity of LBP-1b also abrogated the transactivation activity. We have found that LBP-1 proteins contain a putative sterile alpha motif domain indispensable for their dimerization capability in the C-terminal region. To demonstrate whether homo- and heterodimers composed of LBP-1a and/or LBP-1c are generated in the nucleus, we applied the FLIM-based fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging technique to living cells. It revealed that dimers composed of LBP-1a and LBP-1c were re-formed probably by a partner-exchange of LBP-1b-containing heterodimers.

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