Research communication

Groucho/transducin-like Enhancer of split (TLE) family members interact with the yeast transcriptional co-repressor SSN6 and mammalian SSN6-related proteins: implications for evolutionary conservation of transcription repression mechanisms

Diane GRBAVEC, Rita LO, Yanling LIU, Andy GREENFIELD, Stefano STIFANI


The yeast proteins TUP1 and SSN6 form a transcription repressor complex that is recruited to different promoters via pathway-specific DNA-binding proteins and regulates the expression of a variety of genes. TUP1 is functionally related to invertebrate and vertebrate transcriptional repressors of the Groucho/transducin-like Enhancer of split (TLE) family. The aim was to examine whether similar mechanisms underlie the transcription repression functions of TUP1 and Groucho/TLEs by determining whether TLE family members can interact with yeast SSN6 and mammalian SSN6-like proteins. It is shown in the present work that SSN6 binds to TLE1 and mediates transcriptional repression when expressed in mammalian cells. Moreover, TLE1 and TLE2 interact with two mammalian proteins related to SSN6, designated as the products of the ubiquitously transcribed tetratricopeptide-repeat genes on the Y (or X) chromosomes (UTY/X). These findings suggest that mammalian TLE and UTY/X proteins may mediate repression mechanisms similar to those performed by TUP1–SSN6 in yeast.

  • Notch signalling
  • TUP1
  • transcriptional repression
  • Wnt signalling