Competitive cofactor recruitment by orphan receptor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α1: Modulation by the F domain

Michael D. Ruse, Martin L. Privalsky, Frances M. Sladek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


For most ligand-dependent nuclear receptors, the status of endogenous ligand modulates the relative affinities for corepressor and coactivator complexes. It is less clear what parameters modulate the switch between corepressor and coactivator for the orphan receptors. Our previous work demonstrated that hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α1 (HNF4α1, NR2A1) interacts with the p160 coactivator GRIP1 and the cointegrators CBP and p300 in the absence of exogenously added ligand and that removal of the F domain enhances these interactions. Here, we utilized transient-transfection analysis to demonstrate repression of HNF4α1 activity by the corepressor silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid receptors (SMRT) in several cell lines and on several HNF4α-responsive promoter elements. Glutathione S-transferase pulldown assays confirmed a direct interaction between HNF4α1 and receptor interaction domain 2 of SMRT. Loss of the F domain resulted in marked reduction of the ability of SMRT to interact with HNF4α1 in vitro and repress HNF4α1 activity in vivo, although the isolated F domain itself failed to interact with SMRT. Surprisingly, loss of both the A/B and F domains restored full repression by SMRT, suggesting involvement of both domains in the SMRT interaction. Finally, we show that when coexpressed along with HNF4α1 and GRIP1, CBP, or p300, SMRT can titer out HNF4α1-mediated transactivation in a dose-dependent manner and that this competition derives from mutually exclusive binding. Collectively, these results suggest that HNF4α can functionally interact with both a coactivator and a corepressor without altering the status of any putative ligand and that the presence of the F domain may play a role in discriminating between the different coregulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1626-1638
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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