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J Mol Biol. 1998 Jan 9;275(1):55-65.

Ligand- and DNA-induced dissociation of RXR tetramers.

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Institut de Génétique et de Biology Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), CNRS/INSERM/ULP/Collége de France, Strasbourg.


Unliganded bacterially expressed RXR alpha lacking the N-terminal region AB (apo-RXR alpha delta AB) was found in solution as an apparent mixture of 165 kDa tetramers and 42 kDa monomers which could be quantitatively separated by gel filtration and non-denaturing gel electrophoresis. Under identical conditions both liganded (holo-) and apo-RAR alpha delta AB were present as single monomeric species. apo-RXR alpha delta AB tetramers, as well as dimers of the apo-RXR ligand binding domain (apo-LBD), dissociated readily into monomers when exposed to their cognate ligand 9-cis retinoic acid (9c-RA). The apo-RXR alpha delta AB tetramer bound only transiently to a cognate DR1 response element, and was converted into DR1-apo-RXR alpha delta AB homodimer complexes indistinguishable from those generated by cooperative DNA binding of apo-RXR alpha delta AB monomers. In the absence of DNA, the addition of 9c-RA greatly accelerated the formation of heterodimers with the apo-RAR alpha delta AB heterodimerization partner. No RXR alpha delta AB or RAR alpha delta AB homodimers could be observed in solution, but upon mixing of the two receptor monomers stable heterodimers could be isolated which bound to DR5 response elements in a highly cooperative manner. In these heterodimers, RXR alpha delta AB interacted with its cognate ligand as efficiently as in RXR alpha delta AB homodimers. The presence of ligand did not alter the stability of RXR alpha delta AB homodimer or RXR alpha delta AB-RAR alpha delta AB heterodimer complexes on DR1 and DR5 response elements, respectively. These in vitro data support a model in which RXR tetramers could serve as an inactive pool with the dual function of: (i) rapidly supplying large amounts of RXR heterodimerization partners upon 9c-RA generation; and (ii) allowing RXR homodimer formation on "accessible" cognate response elements in the absence of 9c-RA. These events may represent a ligand-dependent regulatory mechanism controlling the availability of the promiscuous RXR dimerization partner that is engaged in multiple nuclear receptor signalling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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