The retinoblastoma protein-interacting zinc-finger (RIZ) gene, also known as PRDM2, encodes two protein products, RIZ1 and RIZ2, differing for the presence of a 202 aa domain, called PR domain, at the N-terminus of the RIZ1 molecule. While the histone H3 K9 methyltransferase activity of RIZ1 is associated with the negative control of cell proliferation, no information is currently available on either expression regulation of the RIZ2 form or on its biological activity. RIZ proteins act as ER co-activators and promote optimal estrogen response in female reproductive tissues. In estrogen-responsive cells, 17-β estradiol modulates RIZ gene expression producing a shift in the balanced expression of the two forms. Here, we demonstrate that an estrogen-responsive element (ERE) within the RIZ promoter 2 is regulated in a ligand-specific manner by ERα, through both the AF1 and AF2 domains. The pattern of ERα binding, histone H4 acetylation, and histone H3 cyclical methylation of lysine 9 was comparable to other estrogen-regulated promoters. Association of topoisomerase IIβ with the RIZ promoter 2 confirmed the transcriptional activation induced by estrogen. We hypothesize that RIZ2, acting as a negative regulator of RIZ1 function, mediates the proliferative effect of estrogen through regulation of survival and differentiation gene expression.
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