p110 CUX1 cooperates with E2F transcription factors in the transcriptional activation of cell cycle-regulated genes

Mol Cell Biol. 2008 May;28(10):3127-38. doi: 10.1128/MCB.02089-07. Epub 2008 Mar 17.


The transcription factor p110 CUX1 was shown to stimulate cell proliferation by accelerating entry into S phase. As p110 CUX1 can function as a transcriptional repressor or activator depending on promoter context, we investigated its mechanism of transcriptional activation using the DNA polymerase alpha gene promoter as a model system. Linker-scanning analysis revealed that a low-affinity E2F binding site is required for transcriptional activation. Moreover, coexpression with a dominant-negative mutant of DP-1 suggested that endogenous E2F factors are indeed needed for p110-mediated activation. Tandem affinity purification, coimmunoprecipitation, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and reporter assays indicated that p110 CUX1 can engage in weak protein-protein interactions with E2F1 and E2F2, stimulate their recruitment to the DNA polymerase alpha gene promoter, and cooperate with these factors in transcriptional activation. On the other hand, in vitro assays suggested that the interaction between CUX1 and E2F1 either is not direct or is regulated by posttranslational modifications. Genome-wide location analysis revealed that targets common to p110 CUX1 and E2F1 included many genes involved in cell cycle, DNA replication, and DNA repair. Comparison of the degree of enrichment for various E2F factors suggested that binding of p110 CUX1 to a promoter will favor the specific recruitment of E2F1, and to a lesser extent E2F2, over E2F3 and E2F4. Reporter assays on a subset of common targets confirmed that p110 CUX1 and E2F1 cooperate in their transcriptional activation. Overall, our results show that p110 CUX1 and E2F1 cooperate in the regulation of many cell cycle genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase I / genetics
  • E2F Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • E2F1 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • E2F2 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transfection


  • CUX1 protein, human
  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • E2F1 Transcription Factor
  • E2F1 protein, human
  • E2F2 Transcription Factor
  • E2F2 protein, human
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA
  • DNA Polymerase I