Nuclear receptors (NRs) bound to response elements mediate the effects of cognate ligands on gene expression. Their ligand-dependent activation function, AF-2, presumably acts on the basal transcription machinery through intermediary proteins/mediators. We have isolated a mouse nuclear protein, TIF1, which enhances RXR and RAR AF-2 in yeast and interacts in a ligand-dependent manner with several NRs in yeast and mammalian cells, as well as in vitro. Remarkably, these interactions require the amino acids constituting the AF-2 activating domain conserved in all active NRs. Moreover, the oestrogen receptor (ER) AF-2 antagonist hydroxytamoxifen cannot promote ER-TIF1 interaction. We propose that TIF1, which contains several conserved domains found in transcriptional regulatory proteins, is a mediator of ligand-dependent AF-2. Interestingly, the TIF1 N-terminal moiety is fused to B-raf in the mouse oncoprotein T18.
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