FBPs are calibrated molecular tools to adjust gene expression

Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Sep;26(17):6584-97. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00754-06.


The three far-upstream element (FUSE) binding protein (FBP) family members have been ascribed different functions in gene regulation. They were therefore examined with various biochemical, molecular biological, and cell biological tests to evaluate whether their sequence differences reflect functional customization or neutral changes at unselected residues. Each FBP displayed a characteristic profile of intrinsic transcription activation and repression, binding with protein partners, and subcellular trafficking. Although some differences, such as weakened FBP3 nuclear localization, were predictable from primary sequence differences, the unexpected failure of FBP3 to bind the FBP-interacting repressor (FIR) was traced to seemingly conservative substitutions within a small patch of an N-terminal alpha-helix. The transactivation strength and the FIR-binding strength of the FBPs were in the opposite order. Despite their distinguishing features and differential activities, the FBPs traffic to shared subnuclear sites and regulate many common target genes, including c-myc. Though a variety of functions have been attributed to the FBPs, based upon their panel of shared and unique features, we propose that they constitute a molecular regulatory kit that tunes the expression of shared targets through a common mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Helicases / chemistry
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Trans-Activators / chemistry
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FUBP1 protein, human
  • FUBP3 protein, human
  • KHSRP protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • poly-U binding splicing factor 60KDa
  • DNA
  • DNA Helicases