Transcriptional silencing by many transcription factors is mediated by the nuclear receptor corepressor (N-CoR). The mechanism by which N-CoR represses basal transcription involves the direct or indirect recruitment of histone deacetylases (HDACs). We have isolated two multiprotein N-CoR complexes, designated N-CoR-1 and N-CoR-2, which possess histone deacetylase activity that is mediated by distinct HDACs. Based on Western blotting using antibodies against known subunits, the only HDAC found in the N-CoR-1 complex was HDAC3. In contrast, N-CoR-2 contained predominantly HDAC1 and HDAC2 as well as several other subunits that are found in the Sin3A.HDAC complex. Using mass spectrometry and Western blotting, we have identified several novel components of the N-CoR-1 complex including the SWI/SNF-related proteins BRG1, BAF 170, BAF 155, BAF 47/INI1, and the corepressor KAP-1 that is involved in silencing heterochromatin. Indirect immunofluorescence has revealed that both KAP-1 and N-CoR colocalize throughout the nucleus. These results suggest that N-CoR is found in distinct multiprotein complexes, which are involved in multiple pathways of transcriptional repression.
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