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Mol Cell Biol. 1995 Nov;15(11):5868-78.

Adenovirus E1A functions as a cofactor for retinoic acid receptor beta (RAR beta) through direct interaction with RAR beta.

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  • 1Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Transcription regulation by DNA-bound activators is thought to be mediated by a direct interaction between these proteins and TATA-binding protein (TBP), TFIIB, or TBP-associated factors, although occasionally cofactors or adapters are required. For ligand-induced activation by the retinoic acid receptor-retinoid X receptor (RAR-RXR) heterodimer, the RAR beta 2 promoter is dependent on the presence of E1A or E1A-like activity, since this promoter is activated by retinoic acid only in cells expressing such proteins. The mechanism underlying this E1A requirement is largely unknown. We now show that direct interaction between RAR and E1A is a requirement for retinoic acid-induced RAR beta 2 activation. The activity of the hormone-dependent activation function 2 (AF-2) of RAR beta is upregulated by E1A, and an interaction between this region and E1A was observed, but not with AF-1 or AF-2 of RXR alpha. This interaction is dependent on conserved region III (CRIII), the 13S mRNA-specific region of E1A. Deletion analysis within this region indicated that the complete CRIII is needed for activation. The putative zinc finger region is crucial, probably as a consequence of interaction with TBP. Furthermore, the region surrounding amino acid 178, partially overlapping with the TBP binding region, is involved in both binding to and activation by AF-2. We propose that E1A functions as a cofactor by interacting with both TBP and RAR, thereby stabilizing the preinitiation complex.

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