Miz-1 and Max compete to engage c-Myc: implication for the mechanism of inhibition of c-Myc transcriptional activity by Miz-1.

c-Myc is a basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper (b-HLH-LZ) transcription factor deregulated in the majority of human cancers. As a heterodimer with Max, another b-HLH-LZ transcription factor, deregulated and persistent c-Myc accumulates at transcriptionally active promoters and enhancers and amplifies transcription. This leads to the so-called transcriptional addiction of tumor cells. ...
Recent studies have showed that c-Myc transcriptional activities can be reversed by its association with Miz-1, a POZ transcription factor containing 13 classical zinc fingers. Although evidences have led to suggest that c-Myc interacts with both Miz-1 and Max to form a ternary repressive complex, earlier evidences also suggest that Miz-1 and Max may compete to engage c-Myc. In such a scenario, the Miz-1/c-Myc complex would be the entity responsible for the inhibition of c-Myc transcriptional amplification. Considering the implications of the Miz-1/c-Myc interaction, it is highly important to solve this duality. While two potential c-Myc interacting domains (hereafter termed MID) have been identified in Miz-1 by yeast two-hybrid, with the b-HLH-LZ as a bait, the biophysical characterization of these interactions has not been reported so far. Here, we report that the MID located between the 12th and 13th zinc finger of Miz-1 and the b-HLH-LZ of Max compete to form a complex with the b-HLH-LZ of c-Myc. Our results support the notion that the repressive action of Miz-1 on c-Myc does not rely on the formation of a ternary complex. The implications of these observations for the mechanism of inhibition of c-Myc transcriptional activity by Miz-1 are discussed. Proteins 2017; 85:199-206. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Date: Feb. 01, 2017
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