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EMBO J. 1993 Nov;12(11):4317-24.

Functional synergy between DP-1 and E2F-1 in the cell cycle-regulating transcription factor DRTF1/E2F.

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Laboratory of Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.


It is widely believed that the cellular transcription factor DRTF1/E2F integrates cell cycle events with the transcription apparatus because during cell cycle progression in mammalian cells it interacts with molecules that are important regulators of cellular proliferation, such as the retinoblastoma tumour suppressor gene product (pRb), p107, cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases. Thus, pRb, which negatively regulates early cell cycle progression and is frequently mutated in tumour cells, and the Rb-related protein p107, bind to and repress the transcriptional activity of DRTF1/E2F. Viral oncoproteins, such as adenovirus E1a and SV40 large T antigen, overcome such repression by sequestering pRb and p107 and in so doing are likely to activate genes regulated by DRTF1/E2F, such as cdc2, c-myc and DHFR. Two sequence-specific DNA binding proteins, E2F-1 and DP-1, which bind to the E2F site, contain a small region of similarity. The functional relationship between them has, however, been unclear. We report here that DP-1 and E2F-1 exist in a DNA binding complex in vivo and that they bind efficiently and preferentially as a heterodimer to the E2F site. Moreover, studies in yeast and Drosophila cells indicate that DP-1 and E2F-1 interact synergistically in E2F site-dependent transcriptional activation.

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