The mouse orphan nuclear receptor TR2-11-f suppressed the expression of reporters fused to a hormone response element of the mouse cellular retinoic acid-binding protein I gene promoter. TR2-11 -f was able to bind to a direct repeat with four nucleotides in the spacer (5'TGACCTTTGGGGACCT3') located within this hormone response element as homodimers. The specificity of protein-DNA interactions was demonstrated by competition in gel retardation and antibody-mediated supershift reactions. The residues critical for TR2- 11-f binding were mapped to both repeated sequences, whereas the spacer and the flanking sequences were less important. The K(d) and B(max) of TR2-11-f homodimer binding to this direct repeat were determined to be 2.6 nM and 0.012 nM, respectively. By using a yeast two-hybrid system, it was demonstrated that dimerization of TR2-11-f was mediated by its ligand- binding domain. The actions of TR2-11-f in regulating cellular retinoic acid- binding protein 1 gene will likely influence retinoic action and availability within the cells.