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Nature. 1998 Sep 17;395(6699):301-6.

Signal-specific co-activator domain requirements for Pit-1 activation.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0648, USA.


POU-domain proteins, such as the pituitary-specific factor Pit-1, are members of the homeodomain family of proteins which are important in development and homeostasis, acting constitutively or in response to signal-transduction pathways to either repress or activate the expression of specific genes. Here we show that whereas homeodomain-containing repressors such as Rpx2 seem to recruit only a co-repressor complex, the activity of Pit-1 is determined by a regulated balance between a co-repressor complex that contains N-CoR/SMRT, mSin3A/B and histone deacetylases, and a co-activator complex that includes the CREB-binding protein (CBP) and p/CAF. Activation of Pit-1 by cyclic AMP or growth factors depends on distinct amino- and carboxy-terminal domains of CBP, respectively. Furthermore, the histone acetyltransferase functions of CBP or p/CAF are required for Pit-1 function that is stimulated by cyclic AMP or growth factors, respectively. These data show that there is a switch in specific requirements for histone acetyltransferases and CBP domains in mediating the effects of different signal-transduction pathways on specific DNA-bound transcription factors.

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