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Oncogene. 1997 Apr 3;14(13):1521-30.

A mutant Rel-homology domain promotes transcription by p50/NFkappaB1.

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Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway 08854-5638, USA.


Previous studies showed that the binding of p50/NFkappaB1 to particular kappaB DNA sites altered its conformation in a way that correlated with transcriptional activation. Here, we investigated the effects of protein-protein interactions on the transcriptional activity of p50. We show that the association of p50 with a mutant Rel-homology domain (RHD) defective for DNA binding led to synergistic activation of kappaB site-dependent transcription, whereas neither protein alone had any effect. Partial proteolytic analysis showed that the conformation of p50 in these complexes differed from that in wild-type c-Rel-RHD/p50 complexes, and correlated with activated transcription. These results suggest that the Rel-homology domain can act as an allosteric effector to promote transcription by p50/NFkappaB1 and that the configuration of p50 is important for its activity. This also suggests that Rel proteins can promote transcription by other Rel-family members without binding to their DNA recognition site. These studies emphasize the important role of protein-protein interactions in Rel and NFkappaB-mediated transcription.

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