The lymphoid transcription factor LyF-1 is encoded by specific, alternatively spliced mRNAs derived from the Ikaros gene
Hahm, K.; Ernst, P.; Lo, K.; Kim, G.S.; Turck, C.; Smale, S.T.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 14(11): 7111-7123
The lymphocyte-specific DNA-binding protein LyF-1 interacts with a critical control element in the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase (TdT) promoter as well as with the promoters for other genes expressed during early stages of B- and T-cell development. We have purified LyF-1 and have obtained a partial amino acid sequence from proteolytic peptides. The amino acid sequence suggests that LyF-1 is a zinc finger protein encoded by the Ikaros gene, which previously was implicated in T-cell development. Recombinant Ikaros expressed in Escherichia coli bound to the TdT promoter, and antisera directed against the recombinant protein specifically blocked the DNA-binding activity of LyF-1 in crude extracts. Further analysis revealed that at least six distinct mRNAs are derived from the Ikaros/LyF-1 gene by alternative splicing. Only two of the isoforms possess the N-terminal zinc finger domain that is necessary and sufficient for TdT promoter binding. Although both of these isoforms bound to similar sequences in the TdT, lambda-5, V-preB, and lck promoters, one isoform contains an additional zinc finger that resulted in altered recognition of some binding sites. At least four of the Ikaros/LyF-1 isoforms were detectable in extracts from B- and T-cell lines, with the relative amounts of the isoforms varying considerably. These data reveal that the LyF-1 protein is encoded by specific mRNAs derived from the alternatively-spliced Ikaros gene, suggesting that this gene may be important for the early stages of both B- and T-lymphocyte development.