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Author Notes:

Correspondence: J.-T. Dong, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1365 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA Fax: + 404 778 5530 Tel: + 404 712 2568 E-mail: j.dong@emory.edu

AL and JD conceived and designed the study.

AL performed most of the experiments, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript.

KZ and YZ contributed to construction and purification of plasmids.

ZZ contributed to yeast two‐hybrid assay.

LF contributed to the preparation of most reagents.

JD supervised the project and finalized the manuscript.

We thank Dr. Anthea Hammond of Emory University and Mr. Luke Erber of the University of Minnesota‐Twin Cities for helping with editing and proofreading the manuscript.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

The present work is supported by the grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30625032).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • BRCA1
  • ZBRK1
  • ZNF121
  • MYC

ZNF121 interacts with ZBRK1 and BRCA1 to regulate their target genes in mammary epithelial cells


Journal Title:

FEBS Open Bio


Volume 8, Number 12


, Pages 1943-1952

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The novel zinc finger protein 121 (ZNF121) has been demonstrated to physically and functionally associate with the MYC oncoprotein to regulate cell proliferation and likely breast cancer development. To further understand how ZNF121 functions in cell proliferation and carcinogenesis, we identified and characterized the interaction of ZNF121 with zinc finger and BRCA1-interacting protein with a KRAB domain 1 (ZBRK1), a breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility protein 1 (BRCA1)-interacting protein, using the yeast two-hybrid assay and other approaches. We also found that ZNF121 bound to BRCA1. Functionally, ZFN121 suppressed the expression of ANG1 and HMGA2, two common downstream targets of ZBRK1 and BRCA1. Interestingly, ZNF121 also regulated the expression of BRCA1 and ZBRK1. These findings suggest that ZNF121 is likely a member of the BRCA1/CtIP/ZBRK1 repressor complex that plays a role in breast cancer.

Copyright information:

© 2018 The Authors. Published by FEBS Press and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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