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J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 12;285(46):35719-27. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.125286. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Full repression of RNA polymerase III transcription requires interaction between two domains of its negative regulator Maf1.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Pawinskiego 5a, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland.


Maf1, first identified in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a general negative regulator of RNA polymerase III (Pol III). Transcription regulation by Maf1 is important under stress conditions and during the switch between fermentation and respiration. Maf1 is composed of two domains conserved during evolution. We report here that these two domains of human Maf1 are resistant to mild proteolysis and interact together as shown by pull-down and size-exclusion chromatography and that the comparable domains of yeast Maf1 interact in a two-hybrid assay. Additionally, in yeast, a mutation in the N-terminal domain is compensated by mutations in the C-terminal domain. Integrity of both domains and their direct interaction are necessary for Maf1 dephosphorylation and subsequent inhibition of Pol III transcription on a nonfermentable carbon source. These data relate Pol III transcription inhibition to Maf1 structural changes.

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