Article

Intracellular activation of interferon regulatory factor-1 by nanobodies to the multifunctional (Mf1) domain.

Cell Signalling Unit, University of Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre, Crewe Road South, Edinburgh EH4 2XR, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.65). 12/2010; 285(49):38348-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.149476
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT IRF-1 is a tumor suppressor protein that activates gene expression from a range of promoters in response to stimuli spanning viral infection to DNA damage. Studies on the post-translational regulation of IRF-1 have been hampered by a lack of suitable biochemical tools capable of targeting the endogenous protein. In this study, phage display technology was used to develop a monoclonal nanobody targeting the C-terminal Mf1 domain (residues 301-325) of IRF-1. Intracellular expression of the nanobody demonstrated that the transcriptional activity of IRF-1 is constrained by the Mf1 domain as nanobody binding gave an increase in expression from IRF-1-responsive promoters of up to 8-fold. Furthermore, Mf1-directed nanobodies have revealed an unexpected function for this domain in limiting the rate at which the IRF-1 protein is degraded. Thus, the increase in IRF-1 transcriptional activity observed on nanobody binding is accompanied by a significant reduction in the half-life of the protein. In support of the data obtained using nanobodies, a single point mutation (P325A) involving the C-terminal residue of IRF-1 has been identified, which results in greater transcriptional activity and a significant increase in the rate of degradation. The results presented here support a role for the Mf1 domain in limiting both IRF-1-dependent transcription and the rate of IRF-1 turnover. In addition, the data highlight a route for activation of downstream genes in the IRF-1 tumor suppressor pathway using biologics.

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