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E2F activity is negatively regulated by retinoblastoma protein (pRb) through binding to the E2F-1 subunit. Within the E2F heterodimer, DP proteins are E2F partner subunits that allow proper cell cycle progression. In contrast to the other DP proteins, the newest member of the family, DP-4, downregulates E2F activity. In this study we report an unexpected role for DP-4 in regulating E2F-1 activity during the DNA damage response. Specifically, DP-4 is induced in DNA-damaged cells, upon which it binds to E2F-1 as a non-DNA-binding E2F-1/DP-4 complex. Consequently, depleting DP-4 in cells re-instates E2F-1 activity that coincides with increased levels of chromatin-bound E2F-1, E2F-1 target gene expression and associated apoptosis. Mutational analysis of DP-4 highlighted a C-terminal region, outside the DNA-binding domain, required for the negative control of E2F-1 activity. Our results define a new pathway, which acts independently of pRb and through a biochemically distinct mechanism, involved in negative regulation of E2F-1 activity.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Death Differ

Publication Date





122 - 132


Amino Acid Sequence, Cell Line, Tumor, DNA, DNA Damage, DNA Repair, E2F1 Transcription Factor, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Protein Binding, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Protein Subunits, RNA Interference, RNA, Small Interfering, Transcription Factor DP1