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Genes Dev. 1991 May;5(5):868-79.

Identification and characterization of a novel repressor of beta-interferon gene expression.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


We have identified and characterized a novel repressor of human beta-interferon (beta-IFN) gene expression. This protein, designated PRDI-BF1, binds specifically to the PRDI element of the beta-IFN gene promoter and is distinct from previously reported proteins that bind to this sequence. PRDI-BF1 is an 88-kD protein containing five zinc-finger motifs. Cotransfection experiments in cultured mammalian cells revealed that PRDI-BF1 is a potent repressor of PRDI-dependent transcription. PRDI-BF1 blocks virus induction of the intact beta-IFN gene promoter and of synthetic promoters containing multiple PRDI sites. PRDI-BF1 can also block the SV40 enhancer when PRDI sites are located between the enhancer and the promoter. This repression is highly dependent on the location of the PRDI sites, however, indicating that PRDI-BF1 cannot act at a distance. On the basis of the properties of PRDI-BF1 and the observation that PRDI-BF1 mRNA accumulation is virus inducible, we propose that PRDI-BF1 may act as a postinduction repressor of the beta-IFN gene by displacing positive regulatory proteins from the PRDI site of the promoter.

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