DRG1 and DRG2 comprise a highly conserved subfamily of GTP-binding proteins and are thought to act as critical regulators of cell growth. Their abnormal expressions may trigger cell transformation or cell cycle arrest. Our aim is to clarify their physiological functions and regulatory mechanisms. Here we report identification of novel proteins, DRG family regulatory protein (DFRP) 1 and DFRP2, which regulate expression of DRG proteins through specific binding. In transient transfection experiments, DFRP1 specifically binds DRG1, and DFRP2 preferentially binds DRG2. DFRPs provide stability to the target DRG proteins through physical association, possibly by blocking the poly-ubiquitination that would precede proteolysis of DRG proteins. DFRPs are highly conserved in eucaryotes, and the expression patterns of dfrp1 and drg1 transcripts in Xenopus embryos and tissues are similar, indicating that these genes work cooperatively in various types of eukaryotic cells. Immunofluorescence experiments have revealed that the interaction between DRG1 and DFRP1 may occur in the cytoplasm.We generated dfrp1- knockout cells and found that endogenous expression of DRG1 is regulated by DFRP1, confirming that DFRP1 is a specific up-regulator of DRG1 in vivo. On the basis of these results, we propose that DRG1 and DRG2 are regulated differently despite their structural similarities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology