The newly identified p53-related gene, p73, encodes a nuclear transcription factor. Unlike p53, p73 has various isoforms with different NH(2)- and COOH-terminal tails. p73alpha with the longest COOH-terminal extension is most abundantly expressed in many tissues and cells among those splicing isoforms of p73 and the COOH-terminal region appears to have an autoregulatory function. To isolate and characterize the cellular protein(s) that interacts with the unique COOH-terminal region of p73alpha, we employed a yeast two-hybrid screen with a human fetal brain and 293 cell cDNA libraries. We identified the receptor for activated C kinase (RACK1) as a new member of p73alpha-binding proteins. The interaction was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation experiments, whereas RACK1 did not interact with p53 or p73beta. Ectopic overexpression of RACK1 in SAOS-2 cells reduced the p73alpha-mediated transcription from the p53/p73-responsive promoters, and inhibited the p73alpha-dependent apoptosis. On the other hand, the p53-dependent transcriptional activation as well as apoptosis was unaffected in the presence of RACK1. Furthermore, we found that pRB physically bound to RACK1, and repressed the RACK1-dependent inhibition of p73alpha. Taken together, our observations suggest that pRB diminishes the RACK1-mediated inhibition of p73alpha activity through the interaction with RACK1.