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Gene Review

CREBZF  -  CREB/ATF bZIP transcription factor

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: HCF-binding transcription factor Zhangfei, Host cell factor-binding transcription factor Zhangfei, SMILE, ZF
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Disease relevance of CREBZF

  • Zhangfei (ZF) is a basic region-leucine zipper protein that has been implicated in herpesvirus infection cycle and related cellular processes [1].

High impact information on CREBZF

  • It is possible to explain the unusual divergence pattern of the mammalian Y-linked ZF genes by interchromosomal gene conversion by X-linked ZF genes [2].
  • We have previously reported (Villa et al. (1993), Genomics 18: 223) the characterization of the human ZNF75 gene located on Xq26, which has only limited homology (less than 65%) to other ZF genes in the databases [3].
  • A reading frame starting at least 75 amino acids before the first zinc finger and ending 11 amino acids after the last one was identified; comparison with other ZF genes suggests that this genomic fragment represents the carboxy-terminal exon of the gene [4].
  • Here we report a second human protein, Zhangfei (ZF) that interacts with HCF in a fashion similar to Luman and VP16 [5].
  • Unlike Luman, or most other bZIP proteins, ZF by itself did not appear to bind consensus bZIP-binding sites [5].

Biological context of CREBZF

  • Although ZF shares no significant sequence homology with Luman, the two proteins have some structural similarities [5].
  • Although in transient expression assays ectopically expressed ZF was unable to block transactivation by VP16 of a HSV IE promoter, ZF could prevent the expression of several HSV proteins in cells infected with the virus [5].


  1. Cooperative interaction of Zhangfei and ATF4 in transactivation of the cyclic AMP response element. Hogan, M.R., Cockram, G.P., Lu, R. FEBS Lett. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Interchromosomal gene conversion as a possible mechanism for explaining divergence patterns of ZFY-related genes. Hayashida, H., Kuma, K., Miyata, T. J. Mol. Evol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  3. The ZNF75 zinc finger gene subfamily: isolation and mapping of the four members in humans and great apes. Villa, A., Strina, D., Frattini, A., Faranda, S., Macchi, P., Finelli, P., Bozzi, F., Susani, L., Archidiacono, N., Rocchi, M., Vezzoni, P. Genomics (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Isolation of a zinc finger motif (ZNF75) mapping on chromosome Xq26. Villa, A., Patrosso, C., Biunno, I., Frattini, A., Repetto, M., Mostardini, M., Evans, G., Susani, L., Strina, D., Redolfi, E. Genomics (1992) [Pubmed]
  5. Zhangfei: a second cellular protein interacts with herpes simplex virus accessory factor HCF in a manner similar to Luman and VP16. Lu, R., Misra, V. Nucleic Acids Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
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