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J Biol Chem. 2010 Feb 26;285(9):6552-62. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.032680. Epub 2010 Jan 6.

Heterodimerization with different Jun proteins controls c-Fos intranuclear dynamics and distribution.

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Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier, UMR5535, CNRS, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


The c-Fos proto-oncogenic transcription factor defines a multigene family controlling many processes both at the cell and the whole organism level. To bind to its target AP-1/12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-responsive element or cAMP-responsive element DNA sequences in gene promoters and exert its transcriptional part, c-Fos must heterodimerize with other bZip proteins, its best studied partners being the Jun proteins (c-Jun, JunB, and JunD). c-Fos expression is regulated at many transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, yet little is known on how its localization is dynamically regulated in the cell. Here we have investigated its intranuclear mobility using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, genetic, and biochemical approaches. Whereas monomeric c-Fos is highly mobile and distributed evenly with nucleolar exclusion in the nucleus, heterodimerization with c-Jun entails intranuclear redistribution and dramatic reduction in mobility of c-Fos caused by predominant association with the nuclear matrix independently of any binding to AP-1/12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-responsive element or cAMP-responsive element sequences. In contrast to c-Jun, dimerization with JunB does not detectably affect c-Fos mobility. However, dimerization with JunB affects intranuclear distribution with significant differences in the localization of c-Fos.c-Jun and c-Fos.JunB dimers. Moreover, c-Jun and JunB exert comparable effects on another Fos family member, Fra-1. Thus, we report a novel regulation, i.e. differentially regulated intranuclear mobility and distribution of Fos proteins by their Jun partners, and suggest the existence of intranuclear storage sites for latent c-Fos.c-Jun AP-1 complexes. This may affect the numerous physiopathological functions these transcription factors control.

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