Regulation of the DNA-binding and transcriptional activities of Xenopus laevis NFI-X by a novel C-terminal domain

E. Roulet, M. T. Armentero, G. Krey, B. Corthesy, C. Dreyer, N. Mermod, W. Wahli

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The nuclear factor I (NFI) family consists of sequence-specific DNA- binding proteins that activate both transcription and adenovirus DNA replication. We have characterized three new members of the NFI family that belong to the Xenopus laevis NFI-X subtype and differ in their C-termini. We show that these polypeptides can activate transcription in HeLa and Drosophila Schneider line 2 cells, using an activation domain that is subdivided into adjacent variable and subtype-specific domains each having independent activation properties in chimeric proteins. Together, these two domains constitute the full NFI-X transactivation potential. In addition, we find that the X. laevis NFI-X proteins are capable of activating adenovirus DNA replication through their conserved N-terminal DNA-binding domains. Surprisingly, their in vitro DNA-binding activities are specifically inhibited by a novel repressor domain contained within the C-terminal part, while the dimerization and replication functions per se are not affected. However, inhibition of DNA-binding activity in vitro is relieved within the cell, as transcriptional activation occurs irrespective of the presence of the repressor domain. Moreover, the region comprising the repressor domain participates in transactivation. Mechanisms that may allow the relief of DNA- binding inhibition in vivo and trigger transcriptional activation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5552-5562
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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