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Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Dec;13(12):7267-77.

Independent regions of adenovirus E1A are required for binding to and dissociation of E2F-protein complexes.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Charlestown 02129.


The transcription factor E2F is present in independent complexes with the product of the retinoblastoma susceptibility gene, pRB, and a related gene product, p107, in association with the cyclin A-cdk2 or the cyclin E-cdk2 kinase complex. pRB and p107 can negatively regulate E2F activity, since overexpression of pRB or p107 in cells lacking a functional pRB leads to the repression of E2F activity. The products of the adenovirus E1A gene can disrupt E2F complexes and result in free and presumably active E2F transcription factor. The regions of E1A required for this function are also essential for binding to a number of cellular proteins, including pRB and p107. Through the use of a number of glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins representing different regions of E1A, as well as in vivo expression of E1A proteins containing deletions of either conserved region 1 (CR1) or CR2, we find that CR2 of E1A can form stable complexes with E2F. E1A proteins containing both CR1 and CR2 also associate with E2F, although the presence of these proteins results in the release of free E2F from its complexes. In vitro reconstitution experiments indicate that E1A-E2F interactions are not direct and that pRB can serve to facilitate these interactions. Complexes containing E1A, p107, cyclin A, and E2F were identified in vivo, which indicates that E1A may associate with E2F through either p107 or pRB. Peptide competition experiments demonstrate that the pRB-binding domain of the human E2F-1 protein can compete with the CR1 but not CR2 domain of E1A for binding to pRB. These results indicate that E1A CR1 and E2F-1 may bind to the same or overlapping sites on pRB and that E1A CR2 binds to an independent region. On the basis of our results, we propose a two-step model for the release of E2F from pRB and p107 cellular proteins.

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