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EMBO J. 2006 Feb 22;25(4):739-51. Epub 2006 Feb 2.

P38MAPK-dependent phosphorylation and degradation of SRC-3/AIB1 and RARalpha-mediated transcription.

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Laboratorio di Biologia Molecolare, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italia.


Nuclear retinoic acid (RA) receptors (RARs) activate gene expression through dynamic interactions with coregulators in coordination with the ligand and phosphorylation processes. Here we show that during RA-dependent activation of the RARalpha isotype, the p160 coactivator pCIP/ACTR/AIB-1/RAC-3/TRAM-1/SRC-3 is phosphorylated by p38MAPK. SRC-3 phosphorylation has been correlated to an initial facilitation of RARalpha-target genes activation, via the control of the dynamics of the interactions of the coactivator with RARalpha. Then, phosphorylation inhibits transcription via promoting the degradation of SRC-3. In line with this, inhibition of p38MAPK markedly enhances RARalpha-mediated transcription and RA-dependent induction of cell differentiation. SRC-3 phosphorylation and degradation occur only within the context of RARalpha complexes, suggesting that the RAR isotype defines a phosphorylation code through dictating the accessibility of the coactivator to p38MAPK. We propose a model in which RARalpha transcriptional activity is regulated by SRC-3 through coordinated events that are fine-tuned by RA and p38MAPK.

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