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Structure. 2013 Apr 2;21(4):665-71. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2013.02.013. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Structure of the polycomb group protein PCGF1 in complex with BCOR reveals basis for binding selectivity of PCGF homologs.

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Department of Biochemistry and CTRC, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, MSC 7760, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3990, USA.


Polycomb-group RING finger homologs (PCGF1, PCGF2, PCGF3, PCGF4, PCGF5, and PCGF6) are critical components in the assembly of distinct Polycomb repression complex 1 (PRC1)-related complexes. Here, we identify a protein interaction domain in BCL6 corepressor, BCOR, which binds the RING finger- and WD40-associated ubiquitin-like (RAWUL) domain of PCGF1 (NSPC1) and PCGF3 but not of PCGF2 (MEL18) or PCGF4 (BMI1). Because of the selective binding, we have named this domain PCGF Ub-like fold discriminator (PUFD). The structure of BCOR PUFD bound to PCGF1 reveals that (1) PUFD binds to the same surfaces as observed for a different Polycomb group RAWUL domain and (2) the ability of PUFD to discriminate among RAWULs stems from the identity of specific residues within these interaction surfaces. These data show the molecular basis for determining the binding preference for a PCGF homolog, which ultimately helps determine the identity of the larger PRC1-like assembly.

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