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Cell. 1993 Jan 29;72(2):223-32.

Mxi1, a protein that specifically interacts with Max to bind Myc-Max recognition sites.

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Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114.


We used the interaction trap to isolate a novel human protein that specifically interacts with Max. This protein, Mxi1 (for Max interactor 1), contains a bHLH-Zip motif that is similar to that found in Myc family proteins. Mxi1 interacts specifically with Max to form heterodimers that efficiently bind to the Myc-Max consensus recognition site. When bound to DNA by a LexA moiety in yeast, Mxi1 does not stimulate transcription. mxi1 mRNA is expressed in many tissues, and its expression is elevated in U-937 myeloid leukemia cells that have been stimulated to differentiate. These facts are consistent with a model in which Mxi1-Max heterodimers indirectly inhibit Myc function in two ways: first, by sequestering Max, thus preventing the formation of Myc-Max heterodimers, and second, by competing with Myc-Max heterodimers for binding to target sites.

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