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Molecular properties of Zic4 and Zic5 proteins: functional diversity within Zic family.

Ishiguro A., Inoue T., Mikoshiba K., Aruga J.

The Zic-family proteins control various developmental processes. Previous studies have shown that Zic1, Zic2, and Zic3 can act as transcriptional regulators, and that their functions are repressed by I-mfa, which has been identified as a repressor for basic helix-loop-helix-type transcriptional factors. Here, we investigated the molecular properties of the Zic4 and Zic5 proteins. Zic4/Zic5 showed DNA-binding activity to the Gli-binding sequence, similar to Zic1/Zic2/Zic3 proteins. However, Zic4/Zic5 did not exhibit any significant transcriptional activation ability nor they bind to I-mfa differently from Zic1/Zic2/Zic3. The nuclear localization of Zic4/Zic5 was not affected by the presence of the I-mfa protein, whereas the Zic1/Zic2/Zic3 proteins were translocated to the cytoplasmic compartment in the presence of I-mfa. The difference may be attributable to the dissimilarity of the N-terminal region between the Zic1/Zic2/Zic3 and Zic4/Zic5 proteins, since the binding of the Zic1/Zic2/Zic3 proteins to I-mfa occurs through their N-terminal regions.

Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 324:302-307(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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