Modulation of TEL transcription activity by interaction with the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBC9

Subhra Ranjan Chakrabarti, Rashmi Sood, Surajit Ganguly, Stefan Bohlander, Zhiyuan Shen, Giuseppina Nucifora

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74 Scopus citations


The E-26 transforming specific (ETS)-related gene TEL, also known as ETV6, is involved in a large number of chromosomal rearrangements associated with leukemia and congenital fibrosarcoma. The encoded protein contains two functional domains: a helix-loop-helix (HLH) domain (also known as pointed domain) located at the N terminus and a DNA-binding domain located at the C terminus. The HLH domain is involved in protein-protein interaction with itself and other members of the ETS family of transcription factors such as FLI1. TEL is a transcription factor, and we and others have shown that it is a repressor of gene expression. To understand further the role of TEL in the cell, we have used an in vivo interaction system to identify proteins that interact with TEL. We show that a protein, UBC9, interacts specifically with TEL in vitro and in vivo. UBC9 is a member of the family of ubiquitin- conjugating enzymes. These enzymes usually are involved in proteosome- mediated degradation; however, our data suggest that interaction of TEL with UBC9 does not lead to TEL degradation. Our studies show that UBC9 binds to TEL exclusively through the HLH domain of TEL. We also show that TEL expressed as fusion to the DNA-binding domain of Gal4 completely represses a Gal4-responsive promoter, but that the coexpression of UBC9 in the same system restores the activity of the promoter. Targeted point mutation of conserved amino acids in UBC9 essential for enzymatic ubiquitination of proteins does not affect interaction nor transcriptional activity. Based on our data, we conclude that UBC9 physically interacts with TEL through the HLH domain and that the interaction leads to modulation of the transcription activity of TEL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7467-7472
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 22 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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