The erb A oncogene is a dominant negative allele of a thyroid hormone receptor gene and acts in the cancer cell by encoding a transcriptional represser. We demonstrate here that the DNA sequence recognition properties of the oncogenic form of the erb A protein are significantly altered from those of the normal thyroid hormone receptors and more closely resemble those of the retinoic acid receptors; this alteration appears to play an important role in defining the targets of erb A action in neoplasia. Unexpectedly, the novel DNA recognition properties of erb A are encoded by an N-terminal region not previously implicated as playing this function in current models of receptor-DNA interaction. Two N-terminal erb A amino acids in particular, histidine 12 and cysteine 32, contribute to this phenomenon, acting in conjunction with amino acids in the zinc finger domain. The effects of the N-terminal domain can be observed at the level of both DNA binding and transcriptional modulation. Our results indicate that unanticipated determinants within the nuclear hormone receptors participate in DNA sequence recognition and may contribute to the differential target gene specificity displayed by different receptor forms.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|State||Published - Apr 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology