E2F-4 and E2F-5, two members of the E2F family, are expressed in the early phases of the cell cycle.
The E2F transcription factors play a role in regulating the expression of genes required for cell proliferation. Their activity appears to be regulated by association with the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) and the pRb-related proteins p107 and p130. In vivo, pRb is found in complex with a subset of E2F components--namely, E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3. Here we describe the characterization of cDNAs encoding two unusual E2Fs, E2F-4 and E2F-5, each identified by the ability of their gene product to interact with p130 in a yeast two-hybrid system. E2F-4 and -5 share common sequences with E2F-1, E2F-2, and E2F-3 and, like these other E2Fs, the ability to heterodimerize with DP-1, thereby acquiring the ability to bind an E2F DNA recognition sequence with high affinity. However, in contrast to E2F-1, E2F-4 and E2F-5 fail to bind pRb in a two-hybrid assay. Moreover, they show a unique pattern of expression in synchronized human keratinocytes: E2F-4 and E2F-5 mRNA expression is maximal in mid-G1 phase before E2F-1 expression is detectable. These findings suggest that E2F-4 and E2F-5 may contribute to the regulation of early G1 events including the G0/G1 transition.