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Cell. 1996 Apr 5;85(1):49-60.

MafB is an interaction partner and repressor of Ets-1 that inhibits erythroid differentiation.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Using a yeast one-hybrid screen with a DNA-bound Ets-1 protein, we have identified MafB, an AP-1 like protein, as a direct interaction partner. MafB is specifically expressed in myelomonocytic cells and binds to the DNA-binding domain of Ets-1 via its basic region or leucine-zipper domain. Furthermore, it represses Ets-1 transactivation of synthetic promoters containing Ets binding sites and inhibits Ets-1-mediated transactivation of the transferrin receptor, which is known to be essential for erythroid differentiation. Accordingly, overexpression of MafB in an erythroblast cell line down-regulates the endogenous transferrin receptor gene and inhibits differentiation without affecting cell proliferation. These results highlight the importance of inhibitory interactions between transcription factors in regulating lineage-specific gene expression.

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