Overlapping characteristics of weak interactions of two transcriptional regulators with WDR5

Mohammad Ahmad, Ali Imran, Liviu Movileanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The WD40 repeat protein 5 (WDR5) is a nuclear hub that critically influences gene expression by interacting with transcriptional regulators. Utilizing the WDR5 binding motif (WBM) site, WDR5 interacts with the myelocytomatosis (MYC), an oncoprotein transcription factor, and the retinoblastoma-binding protein 5 (RbBP5), a scaffolding element of an epigenetic complex. Given the clinical significance of these protein-protein interactions (PPIs), there is a pressing necessity for a quantitative assessment of these processes. Here, we use biolayer interferometry (BLI) to examine interactions of WDR5 with consensus peptide ligands of MYC and RbBP5. We found that both interactions exhibit relatively weak affinities arising from a fast dissociation process. Remarkably, live-cell imaging identified distinctive WDR5 localizations in the absence and presence of full-length binding partners. Although WDR5 tends to accumulate within nucleoli, WBM-mediated interactions with MYC and RbBP5 require their localization outside nucleoli. We utilize fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy to confirm these weak interactions through a low FRET efficiency of the MYC-WDR5 and RbBP5-WDR5 complexes in living cells. In addition, we evaluate the impact of peptide and small-molecule inhibitors on these interactions. These outcomes form a fundamental basis for further developments to clarify the multitasking role of the WBM binding site of WDR5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number128969
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Biolayer interferometry
  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer
  • Protein-protein interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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