The leucine zipper of NRL interacts with the CRX homeodomain. A possible mechanism of transcriptional synergy in rhodopsin regulation

Kenneth P. Mitton, Prabodh K. Swain, Shiming Chen, Siqun Xu, Donald J. Zack, Anand Swaroop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Photoreceptor-specific expression of rhodopsin is mediated by multiple cis-acting elements in the proximal promoter region. NRL (neural retina leucine zipper) and CRX (cone rod homeobox) proteins bind to the adjacent NRE and Ret-4 sites, respectively, within this region. Although NRL and CRX are each individually able to induce rhodopsin promoter activity, when expressed together they exhibit transcriptional synergy in rhodopsin promoter activation. Using the yeast two-hybrid method and glutathione S-transferase pull-down assays, we demonstrate that the leucine zipper of NRL can physically interact with CRX. Deletion analysis revealed that the CRX homeodomain (CRX-HD) plays an important role in the interaction with the NRL leucine zipper. Although binding with the CRX-HD alone was weak, a strong interaction was detected when flanking regions including the glutamine-rich and the basic regions that follow the HD were included. A reciprocal deletion analysis showed that the leucine zipper of NRL is required for interaction with CRX-HD. Two disease-causing mutations in CRX-HD (R41W and R90W) that exhibit reduced DNA binding and transcriptional synergy also decrease its interaction with NRL. These studies suggest novel possibilities for protein-protein interaction between two conserved DNA-binding motifs and imply that cross-talk among distinct regulatory pathways contributes to the establishment and maintenance of photoreceptor function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29794-29799
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume275
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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