Background: Zinc finger protein 179 (Znf179), also known as ring finger protein 112 (Rnf112), is a member of the RING finger protein family and plays an important role in neuronal differentiation. To investigate novel mechanisms of Znf179 regulation and function, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify Znf179-interacting proteins. Results: Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we have identified promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (Plzf) as a specific interacting protein of Znf179. Further analysis showed that the region containing the first two zinc fingers of Plzf is critical for its interaction with Znf179. Although the transcriptional regulatory activity of Plzf was not affected by Znf179 in the Gal4-dependent transcription assay system, the cellular localization of Znf179 was changed from cytoplasm to nucleus when Plzf was co-expressed. We also found that Znf179 interacted with Plzf and regulated Plzf protein expression. Conclusions: Our results showed that Znf179 interacted with Plzf, resulting in its translocation from cytoplasm to the nucleus and increase of Plzf protein abundance. Although the precise nature and role of the Znf179-Plzf interaction remain to be elucidated, both of these two genes are involved in the regulation of neurogenesis. Our finding provides further research direction for studying the molecular functions of Znf179.
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