Indexed on: 22 Aug '09Published on: 22 Aug '09Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
The Krüppel-associated box-containing zinc finger gene family (KRAB-ZNF) is one of the largest gene families of transcriptional factors in the human genome. Although the functions of most of these genes remain to be determined, it is known that KRAB-mediated transcriptional repression requires a direct interaction with the KAP1 co-repressor. By mammalian one- or two-hybrid experiments in HEK293 cells, we compared transcriptional repression activities of 61 human KRAB-ZNFs. The results showed that six SCAN-KRAB-containing ZNFs are KAP1-independent transcriptional repressors whose SCAN-KRAB domain is unable to associate with KAP1 despite retaining transcriptional repression activity. Transcriptional repression activities of the SCAN-KRAB domain of KAP1-independent KRAB-ZNFs are not influenced by depletion of endogenous KAP1 levels by small interfering RNA. Although the mechanism by which KAP1-independent KRAB-ZNFs repress transcriptional activity remains to be elucidated, it appears that there may be a pathway for transcriptional repression that does not involve KAP1. These results provide new insight into the functions of the members of the KRAB-ZNF family.