Cell cycle-regulated association of E2F1 and Sp1 is related to their functional interaction

Shiaw Yih Lin, Adrian Rhys Black, Dusan Kostic, Sanja Pajovic, Carol N. Hoover, Jane Clifford Azizkhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


Because of the large number of growth-regulated genes containing binding sites for the transcription factors Sp1 and E2F and the reported ability of E2F to mediate cell cycle (growth) regulation, we studied interactions between E2F1 and Sp1. In transient transfection assays using Drosophila melanogaster SL2 cells, transfection with both Sp1 and E2F1 expression vectors resulted in greater than 85-fold activation of transcription from a hamster dihydrofolate reductase reporter construct, whereas cotransfection with either the Sp1 or E2F1 expression vector resulted in 30- or <2-fold activation, respectively. Therefore, these transcription factors act synergistically in activation of dihydrofolate reductase transcription. Transient transfection studies demonstrated that E2F1 could superactivate Sp1-dependent transcription in a promoter containing only Sp1 sites and that Sp1 could superactivate transcription of promoters through E2F sites, further demonstrating that these factors functionally interact with one another. Coimmunoprecipitation studies revealed that Sp1 and E2F1 are physically associated in Drosophila cells transfected with Sp1 and E2F1 expression vectors and in human cells, with maximal interaction detected in mid- to late G1. Additionally, E2F1 and Sp1 interact in vitro through specific domains of each protein, and the physical interaction and functional synergism appear to require the same regions. Taken together, these data demonstrate that E2F1 and Sp1 both functionally and physically interact; therefore, through this interaction, Sp1 and E2F1 may regulate transcription of genes containing binding sites for either or both factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1668-1675
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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