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Nucleic Acids Res. 1996 Sep 15;24(18):3490-8.

Transcriptional repression by Rev-erbA alpha is dependent on the signature motif and helix 5 in the ligand binding domain: silencing does not involve an interaction with N-CoR.

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University of Queensland, Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ritchie Research Laboratories, St Lucia, Australia.


Rev-erbA alpha is an orphan nuclear receptor that functions as a dominant transcriptional repressor. Tissue culture and in situ hybridisation studies indicated that Rev-erbA alpha plays an important role in mammalian differentiation and development. Previous studies have localised the silencing domain of Rev-erbA alpha to the D/E region of the orphan receptor. This study utilised the GAL4 hybrid system to demonstrate that efficient repression is mediated by 34 amino acids (aa) between aa 455 and 488 in the E region of the receptor. This domain contains the ligand binding domain (LBD)-signature motif [(F/W)AKxxxxFxxLxxxDQxxLL] and a region that, according to the recently published crystal structures of steroid receptors, would be predicted to form helix 5 of the canonical LBD structure. Fine deletions and site-specific mutagenesis indicated that both the LBD signature motif and helix 5 were necessary for efficient silencing. Utilising mammalian two hybrid technology, we have also demonstrated that Rev-erbA alpha does not associate with the interaction domain (aa 2218-2451) of the nuclear receptor corepressor, N-CoR, that is known to interact with the thyroid hormone and retinoic acid receptors. This suggested that transcriptional repression by Rev-erbA alpha is not mediated through an interaction with N-CoR. In conclusion, we have identified and characterised the minimal domain of Rev-erbA alpha, that mediates transcriptional repression by this orphan receptor.

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