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Saad El Marzouk, Jennifer R Schultz-Norton, Varsha S Likhite, Ian X McLeod, John R Yates, and Ann M Nardulli


Estrogen receptor α (ERα) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates expression of estrogen-responsive genes. Upon binding of the ligand-occupied ERα to estrogen response elements (EREs) in DNA, the receptor interacts with a variety of coregulatory proteins to modulate transcription of target genes. We have isolated and identified a number of proteins associated with the DNA-bound ERα. One of these proteins, Rho guanosine diphosphate (GDP) dissociation inhibitor α (RhoGDIα), is a negative regulator of the Rho family of GTP-binding proteins. In this study, we demonstrate that endogenously expressed RhoGDIα is present in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm of MCF-7 breast cancer cells, and that RhoGDIα binds directly to ERα, alters the ERα–ERE interaction, and influences the ability of ERα to regulate transcription of a heterologous estrogen-responsive reporter plasmid in transient transfection assays as well as endogenous, estrogen-responsive genes in MCF-7 cells. Our studies suggest that, in addition to the activity of RhoGDIα in the cytoplasm, it also influences ERα signaling in the nucleus.

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F E Carrick, M G Hinds, K A McNeil, J C Wallace, B E Forbes, and R S Norton

The interaction of IGF binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) with IGF-I and -II has been investigated in solution using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Chemical shift perturbations in 15N- and 2H/15N-labelled IGF-I or -II upon binding to unlabelled thioredoxin-tagged bovine IGFBP-2 (Trx1–279IGFBP-2) have been monitored to identify residues involved directly in the binding interaction as well as any affected by conformational changes associated with the interaction. A key step in obtaining high-quality spectra of the complexes was the use of transverse relaxation optimised spectroscopy (TROSY) methods with partially deuterated ligands. Indeed, because the effects of conformational averaging and aggregation are eliminated in IGF-I and -II bound to IGFBP-2, the spectra of the complexes are actually superior to those of the free ligands. Comparison of our results with the crystal structure of the complex between IGF-I and an N-terminal fragment of IGFBP-5 allowed identification of those residues perturbed by the C-domain of IGFBP-2. Other perturbations, such as those of Gly19 and Asp20 of IGF-I (and the corresponding residues in IGF-II) – which are located in a reverse turn linking N-domain and C-domain interactive surfaces – are due to local conformational changes in the IGF-I and -II. Our results confirm that the C-domain of IGFBP-2 plays a key role in binding regions of IGF-I and -II that are also involved in binding to the type-1 IGF receptor and thereby blocking ligand binding to this receptor.