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J Biol Chem. 1996 Nov 1;271(44):27701-6.

Zik1, a transcriptional repressor that interacts with the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle K protein.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


The heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (hnRNP) K protein is comprised of multiple modular domains that serve to engage a diverse group of molecular partners including DNA, RNA, the product of the proto-oncogene vav, and tyrosine and serine/threonine kinases. To identify additional K protein molecular partners and to further understand its function, we used a fragment of K protein as a bait in the yeast two-hybrid screen. The deduced primary structure of one of the positive clones revealed a novel zinc finger protein, hereby denoted as Zik1. In addition to the nine contiguous zinc fingers in the C terminus, Zik1 contains a KRAB-A domain thought to be involved in transcriptional repression. Zik1 and K protein bound in vitro and co-immunoprecipitated from cell extracts indicating that in vivo their interaction is direct. Expression of Gal4 DNA-binding domain-Zik1 fusion protein repressed a gene promoter bearing Gal4-binding elements, indicating that from cognate DNA elements Zik1 is a transcriptional repressor. The known diverse nature of K protein molecular interactions and now the identification of a K protein partner that is a transcriptional repressor lends support to the notion that K protein is a remarkably versatile molecule that may be acting as a docking platform to facilitate communication among molecules involved in signal transduction and gene expression.

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