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Recruitment of SMRT/N-CoR-mSin3A-HDAC-repressing complexes is not a general mechanism for BTB/POZ transcriptional repressors: The case of HIC-1 and γFBP-B

The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology


Hypermethylated in cancer (HIC-1), a new candidate tumor suppressor gene located in 17p13.3, encodes a protein with five C2H2 zinc fingers and an N-terminal broad complex, tramtrack, and bric à brac/poxviruses and zinc-finger (BTB/POZ) domain found in actin binding proteins or transcriptional regulators involved in chromatin modeling. In the human B cell lymphoma (BCL-6) and promyelocityc leukemia (PLZF) oncoproteins, this domain mediates transcriptional repression through its ability to recruit a silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid hormone receptor (SMRT)/nuclear receptor corepressor (N-CoR)-mSin3A-histone deacetylase (HDAC) complex, a mechanism shared with numerous transcription factors. HIC-1 appears unique because it contains a 13-aa insertion acquired late in evolution, because it is not found in its avian homologue, γF1-binding protein isoform B (γFBP-B), a transcriptional repressor of the γF-crystallin gene. This insertion, located in a conserved region involved in the dimerization and scaffolding of the BTB/POZ domain, mainly affects slightly the ability of the HIC-1 and γFBP-B BTB/POZ domains to homo- and heterodimerize in vivo, as shown by mammalian two-hybrid experiments. Both the HIC-1 and γFBP-B BTB/POZ domains behave as autonomous transcriptional repression domains. However, in striking contrast with BCL-6 and PLZF, both HIC-1 and γFBP-B similarly fail to interact with members of the HDAC complexes (SMRT/N-CoR, mSin3A or HDAC-1) in vivo and in vitro. In addition, a general and specific inhibitor of HDACs, trichostatin A, did not alleviate the HIC-1- and γFBP-B-mediated transcriptional repression, as previously shown for BCL-6. Taken together, our studies show that the recruitment onto target promoters of an HDAC complex is not a general property of transcriptional repressors containing a conserved BTB/POZ domain.

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