Human CtBP attenuates transcriptional activation and tumorigenesis mediated by the adenovirus E1A protein. The E1A sequence motif that interacts with CtBP, Pro-X-Asp-Leu-Ser-X-Lys (P-DLS-K), is present in the repression domains of two unrelated short-range repressors in Drosophila, Knirps and Snail, and is essential for the interaction of these proteins with Drosophila CtBP (dCtBP). A P-element-induced mutation in dCtBP exhibits gene-dosage interactions with a null mutation in knirps, which is consistent with the occurrence of Knirps-dCtBP interactions in vivo. These observations suggest that CtBP and dCtBP are engaged in an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of transcriptional repression, which is used in both Drosophila and mammals.
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