Human endogenous retrovirus protein Rec interacts with the testicular zinc-finger protein and androgen receptor.
More than 2000 human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) sequences are present in the human genome, yet only a few are intact and able to produce proteins. The normal functions of these, if any, are unknown, but some HERV proteins have been implicated in cancers, in particular germ-cell cancers. For instance, it has been documented that (i) patients with germ-cell tumours frequently produce antibodies against HERV proteins; (ii) transgenic mice expressing HERV-K (HML-2) rec are prone to testicular carcinoma in situ; and (iii) Rec can bind and suppress a guardian of germline stem-cell pluripotency, the promyelocytic leukaemia zinc-finger protein (PLZF). This study identified the PLZF-related testicular zinc-finger protein (TZFP) as a binding partner of HERV-K (HML-2) Rec. Interactions occurred via the N- and C-terminal domains of Rec and the C-terminal DNA-binding zinc-finger domain of TZFP (aa 375-450). Not much is known about the function of TZFP. The protein is expressed predominantly in the testis, where it functions as a transcriptional repressor that is active during specific stages of spermatogenesis. The most intensely studied function of TZFP is that of a co-repressor of the activated androgen receptor (AR). Here, it was shown that Rec can form a trimeric complex with TZFP and AR, and can relieve the TZFP-mediated repression of AR-induced transactivation. In addition, Rec was able to overcome the direct transcriptional repression by TZFP of the c-myc gene promoter in reporter assays. Thus, HERV-K (HML-2) Rec may function as an oncoprotein by de-repressing oncogenic transcription factors such as AR.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.