Role of LXCXE motif-dependent interactions in the activity of the retinoblastoma protein.
Chan HM., Smith L., La Thangue NB.
Cell cycle control by pRb requires the integrity of the pocket domain, which is a region necessary for interactions with a variety of proteins, including E2F and LXCXE-motif containing proteins. Through knowledge of the crystal structure of pRb we have prepared a panel of pRb mutant derivatives in which a cluster of lysine residues that demark the LXCXE peptide binding domain were systematically mutated. One of the mutant derivatives, Rb6A, exhibits significantly reduced LXCXE-dependent interactions with HPV E7, cyclinD1 and HDAC2, but retained LXCXE-independent binding to E2F. Consistent with these results, Rb6A could down-regulate E2F-1-dependent activation of different E2F responsive promoters, but was compromised in Rb-dependent repression. Most importantly, Rb6A retained wild-type growth arrest activity, and colony forming activity similar to wild-type pRb. It is compatible with these results that directly targeting HDAC2 to E2F responsive promoters as an E2F/HDAC hybrid protein failed to effect cell cycle arrest. These results suggest that LXCXE-dependent interactions are not essential for pRb to exert growth arrest.