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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Feb;20(4):1140-8.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase binds to TFII-I and regulates its activation of the c-fos promoter.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


We have previously shown that TFII-I enhances transcriptional activation of the c-fos promoter through interactions with upstream elements in a signal-dependent manner. Here we demonstrate that activated Ras and RhoA synergize with TFII-I for c-fos promoter activation, whereas dominant-negative Ras and RhoA inhibit these effects of TFII-I. The Mek1 inhibitor, PD98059 abrogates the enhancement of the c-fos promoter by TFII-I, indicating that TFII-I function is dependent on an active mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. Analysis of the TFII-I protein sequence revealed that TFII-I contains a consensus MAP kinase interaction domain (D box). Consistent with this, we have found that TFII-I forms an in vivo complex with extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK). Point mutations within the consensus MAP kinase binding motif of TFII-I inhibit its ability to bind ERK and its ability to enhance the c-fos promoter. Therefore, the D box of TFII-I is required for its activity on the c-fos promoter. Moreover, the interaction between TFII-I and ERK can be regulated. Serum stimulation enhances complex formation between TFII-I and ERK, and dominant-negative Ras abrogates this interaction. In addition, TFII-I can be phosphorylated in vitro by ERK and mutation of consensus MAP kinase substrate sites at serines 627 and 633 impairs the phosphorylation of TFII-I by ERK and its activity on the c-fos promoter. These results suggest that ERK regulates the activity of TFII-I by direct phosphorylation.

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