A conserved α-helical motif mediates the interaction of Sp1-like transcriptional repressors with the corepressor mSin3A

J. S. Zhang, M. C. Moncrieffe, J. Kaczynski, V. Ellenrieder, F. G. Prendergast, R. Urrutia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Sp1-like proteins are defined by three highly homologous C2H2 zinc finger motifs that bind GC-rich sequences found in the promoters of a large number of genes essential for mammalian cell homeostasis. Here we report that TIEG2, a transforming growth factor β-inducible Sp1-like protein with antiproliferative functions, represses transcription through recruitment of the mSin3A-histone deacetylase complex. The interaction of TIEG2 with mSin3A is mediated by an alpha-helical repression motif (α-HRM) located within the repression domain (R1) of TIEG2. This α-HRM specifically associates with the second paired amphipathic helix (PAH2) domain of mSin3A. Mutations in the TIEG2 α-HRM domain that disrupt its helical structure abolish its ability to both bind mSin3A and repress transcription. Interestingly, the α-HRM is conserved in both the TIEG (TIEG1 and TIEG2) and BTEB (BTEB1, BTEB3, and BTEB4) subfamilies of Sp1-like proteins. The α-HRM from these proteins also mediates direct interaction with mSin3A and represses transcription. Surprisingly, we found that the α-HRM of the Sp1-like proteins characterized here exhibits structural and functional resemblance to the Sin3A-interacting domain previously described for the basic helix-loop-helix protein Mad1. Thus, our study defines a mechanism of transcriptional repression via the interactions of the α-HRM with the Sin3-histone deacetylase complex that is utilized by at least five Sp1-like transcriptional factors. More importantly, we demonstrate that a helical repression motif which mediates Sin3 interaction is not an exclusive structural and functional characteristic of the Mad1 subfamily but rather has a wider functional impact on transcriptional repression than previously demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5041-5049
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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