GZF1 is a zinc finger protein induced by glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). It is a sequence-specific transcriptional repressor with a BTB/POZ (Broad complex, Tramtrack, Bric a brac/Poxvirus and zinc finger) domain and ten zinc finger motifs. In the present study, we used immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry to identify nucleolin as a GZF1-binding protein. Deletion analysis revealed that zinc finger motifs 1-4 of GZF1 mediate its association with nucleolin. When zinc fingers 1-4 were deleted from GZF1 or nucleolin expression was knocked down by short interference RNA (siRNA), nuclear localization of GZF1 was impaired. These results suggest that nucleolin is involved in the proper subcellular distribution of GZF1. In addition, overexpression of nucleolin moderately inhibited the transcriptional repressive activity of GZF1 whereas knockdown of nucleolin expression by siRNA enhanced its activity. Thus, the repressive activity of GZF1 is modulated by the level at which nucleolin is expressed. Finally, we found that knockdown of GZF1 and nucleolin expression markedly impaired cell proliferation. These findings suggest that the physiological functions of GZF1 may be regulated by the protein's association with nucleolin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology