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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The VHL protein recruits a novel KRAB-A domain protein to repress HIF-1alpha transcriptional activity.

The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (pVHL) is a component of an E3 ubiquitin ligase and targets hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) for ubiquitylation and degradation under normoxic conditions. pVHL also directly inhibits HIF-1alpha transactivation by recruiting histone deacetylases. Here, we report a novel pVHL- interacting protein that functions as a negative regulator of HIF-1alpha transactivation. This protein, generated from the ZnF197 locus by alternative splicing, contains a Kruppel-associated box (KRAB)-A domain and a SCAN domain, but lacks the 22 C2H2-type zinc fingers present in ZnF197. Therefore, we named this protein pVHL-associated KRAB-A domain-containing protein (VHLaK). We demonstrate that the KRAB-A domain in VHLaK mediates pVHL binding and functions as a transcriptional repression module. The SCAN domain mediates VHLaK homo-oligomerization, which enhances VHLaK repressive activity. pVHL can recruit VHLaK to repress HIF-1alpha transcriptional activity and HIF-1alpha- induced VEGF expression. Finally, we demonstrate that pVHL, VHLaK and KAP1/TIF-1beta can be recruited into a single complex, indicating that KAP1/TIF-1beta may participate in pVHL- mediated transcriptional repression of HIF-1alpha. Our findings provide a novel mechanism for the modulation of HIF-1alpha transactivation by pVHL.[1]


  1. The VHL protein recruits a novel KRAB-A domain protein to repress HIF-1alpha transcriptional activity. Li, Z., Wang, D., Na, X., Schoen, S.R., Messing, E.M., Wu, G. EMBO J. (2003) [Pubmed]
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