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Lysine acetylation regulates transcription by targeting histones and nonhistone proteins. Here we report that the central regulator of transcription, RNA polymerase II, is subject to acetylation in mammalian cells. Acetylation occurs at eight lysines within the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest polymerase subunit and is mediated by p300/KAT3B. CTD acetylation is specifically enriched downstream of the transcription start sites of polymerase-occupied genes genome-wide, indicating a role in early stages of transcription initiation or elongation. Mutation of lysines or p300 inhibitor treatment causes the loss of epidermal growth-factor-induced expression of c-Fos and Egr2, immediate-early genes with promoter-proximally paused polymerases, but does not affect expression or polymerase occupancy at housekeeping genes. Our studies identify acetylation as a new modification of the mammalian RNA polymerase II required for the induction of growth factor response genes.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Antipsychotic drugs regulate gene transcription in striatal neurons by blocking dopamine D2-like receptors. Little is known about the underlying changes in chromatin structure, including covalent modifications at histone N-terminal tails that are epigenetic regulators of gene expression. We show that treatment with D2-like antagonists rapidly induces the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 and the acetylation of H3-lysine 14 in bulk chromatin from striatum and in nuclei of striatal neurons. We find that, in vivo, D2-like antagonist-induced H3 phospho-acetylation is inhibited by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 and by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor Rp-adenosine 3c',5c'-cyclic monophosphorothioate triethylammonium salt but increased by the PKA activator Sp-adenosine 3c',5c'-cyclic monophosphorothioate triethylammonium salt. Furthermore, in dissociated striatal cultures which lack midbrain and cortical pre-synaptic inputs, H3 phospho-acetylation was induced by glutamate, L-type Ca2+ channel agonists and activators of cAMP-dependent PKA but inhibited by NMDA receptor antagonists or PKA antagonists. The dual modification, H3pS10-acK14, was enriched at genomic sites with active transcription and showed the kinetics of the early response. Together, these results suggest that histone modifications and chromatin structure in striatal neurons are dynamically regulated by dopaminergic and glutamatergic inputs converging on the cellular level. Blockade of D2-like receptors induces H3 phospho-acetylation, H3pS10-acK14, through cAMP-dependent PKA, and post-synaptic NMDA receptor signaling.
Copyright 2004 International Society for Neurochemistry
Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) contraction is mediated in part by calcium influx through L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCC) and activation of the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROK) signaling cascade. We tested the hypothesis that Ca2+ influx through VGCCs regulates SMC differentiation marker expression and that these effects are dependent on RhoA/ROK signaling. Depolarization-induced activation of VGCCs resulted in a nifedipine-sensitive increase in endogenous smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SMMHC) and SM alpha-actin expression and CArG-dependent promoter activity, as well as c-fos promoter activity. The ROK inhibitor, Y-27632, prevented depolarization-induced increase in SMMHC/SM alpha-actin but had no effect on c-fos expression. Conversely, the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase inhibitor, KN93, prevented depolarization-induced increases in c-fos expression with no effect on SMMHC/SM alpha-actin. Depolarization increased expression of myocardin, a coactivator of SRF that mediates CArG-dependent transcription of SMC marker gene promoters containing paired CArG cis regulatory elements (SMMHC/SM alpha-actin). Both nifedipine and Y-27632 prevented the depolarization-induced increase in myocardin expression. Moreover, short interfering RNA (siRNA) specific for myocardin attenuated depolarization-induced SMMHC/SM alpha-actin transcription. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that depolarization increased SRF enrichment of the CArG regions in the SMMHC, SM alpha-actin, and c-fos promoters in intact chromatin. Whereas Y-27632 decreased basal and depolarization-induced SRF enrichment in the SMMHC/SM alpha-actin promoter regions, it had no effect of SRF enrichment of c-fos. Taken together, these results provide evidence for a novel mechanism whereby Ca2+ influx via VGCCs stimulates expression of SMC differentiation marker genes through mechanisms that are dependent on ROK, myocardin, and increased binding of SRF to CArG cis regulatory elements.
Dopaminergic axons innervating the prefrontal cortex (PFC) target both pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons. Many of these dopamine (DA) axons in the rat coexpress the peptide neurotransmitter neurotensin. Previous electrophysiological data have suggested that neurotensin activates GABAergic interneurons in the PFC. Activation of D2-like DA receptors increases extracellular GABA levels in the PFC, as opposed to the striatum, where D2 receptor activation inhibits GABAergic neurons. Because activation of presynaptic D2 release-modulating autoreceptors in the PFC suppresses DA release but increases release of the cotransmitter neurotensin, D2 agonists may enhance the activity of GABAergic interneurons via release of neurotensin. In order to determine if neurotensin can activate GABAergic interneurons, we treated rats with the peptide neurotensin agonist, PD149163, and examined Fos expression in PFC neurons. Systemic administration of PD149163 increased overall Fos expression in the PFC, but not in the dorsal striatum. PD149163 induced Fos in PFC interneurons, as defined by the presence of calcium-binding proteins, and in pyramidal cells. Pretreatment with the high-affinity neurotensin antagonist, SR48692, blocked neurotensin agonist-induced Fos expression. These data suggest that neurotensin activates interneurons in the PFC of the rat.
Neurotensin interacts with central dopamine systems and has been suggested to exert antipsychotic drug-like actions. Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol induce striatal immediate-early gene expression. In order to study neurotensin's role in antipsychotic drug actions, rats were pretreated with the neurotensin antagonist SR 48692 and then injected with haloperidol. SR 48692 dose-dependently decreased haloperidol-elicited immediate-early gene expression in the dorsolateral and central striatum but not other striatal areas. SR 48692 reduced Fos expression in the striatal patch (striosome) and matrix compartments, with a significantly greater effect in the patch. These data suggest that neurotensin may play a role in the actions of haloperidol. In view of proposed functional roles of the striatal patch and matrix, we suggest that neurotensin may be important in the therapeutic rather than side effects of antipsychotic drugs.
The present study deals with the functional interaction of antipsychotic drugs and NMDA receptors. We show that both the conventional antipsychotic drug haloperidol and the atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine mediate gene expression via intracellular regulation of NMDA receptors, albeit to different extents. Data obtained in primary striatal culture demonstrate that the intraneuronal signal transduction pathway activated by haloperidol, the cAMP pathway, leads to phosphorylation of the NR1 subtype of the NMDA receptor at (897)Ser. Haloperidol treatment is likewise shown to increase (897)Ser-NR1 phosphorylation in rats in vivo. Mutation of (896)Ser and (897)Ser to alanine, which prevents phosphorylation at both sites, inhibits cAMP-mediated gene expression. We conclude that antipsychotic drugs have the ability to modulate NMDA receptor function by an intraneuronal signal transduction mechanism. This facilitation of NMDA activity is necessary for antipsychotic drug-mediated gene expression and may contribute to the therapeutic benefits as well as side effects of antipsychotic drug treatment.
We have previously shown that in the rat osteoblastic osteosarcoma cell line-UMR 106-01-PTH induces maximal collagenase mRNA levels at 4 hours. Since this response to PTH requires de novo protein synthesis, it may be mediated by the combined temporal expression of members of the activator protein-1 (AP-1) gene family. We have demonstrated that maximal mRNA levels of two of the members of this family, c-fos and c-jun, occur 30 min after stimulation by PTH. Phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) elicits a similar increase in c-fos and c-jun mRNAs, but is unable to stimulate transcription of collagenase in these cells. To investigate further the involvement of the AP-1 gene family, we examined PTH and PMA stimulation of jun-B, jun-D, fos B, and fra-1 mRNAs in UMR 106-01 cells. The mRNA for jun-D was abundant under control conditions and showed no variation in response to PTH (10(-8) M). The fos B transcripts were not detected under control conditions, whereas jun-B and fra-1 mRNAs were present at low basal levels. PTH caused an increase in fos B mRNA that reached a maximal 4- to 5-fold plateau between 45 and 60 min. An increase in jun-B mRNA in response to PTH was detectable at 30 min, but reached a maximal 6- to 7-fold increase at 2 hours. After PTH stimulation, the fra-1 transcript showed a 10- to 11-fold peak at 4 hours. PMA (2.6 x 10(-7) M) stimulated fos B mRNA to maximal abundance at 1 hour, similar to PTH. In contrast, PMA caused a maximal increase in jun-B mRNA at 30 min and fra-1 mRNA at 2 hours, which was earlier than the response to PTH. To determine whether an increase in jun-B at the same time as c-fos and c-jun would inhibit collagenase gene transcription, we cotransfected an expression vector for jun-B with a rat collagenase promoter-reporter gene construct. This resulted in a decrease in PTH-stimulation of promoter activity. Thus, it appears that the differential temporal stimulation of the AP-1 genes by PTH and PMA, particularly an increase in jun-B at the same time as c-fos and c-jun, explains the difference seen in their ability to induce transcription of collagenase.
Serum response element binding protein (SRE BP) is a novel binding factor present in nuclear extracts of avian and NIH 3T3 fibroblasts which specifically binds to the cfos SRE within a region overlapping and immediately 3' to the CArG box. Site-directed mutagenesis combined with transfection experiments in NIH 3T3 cells showed that binding of both serum response factor (SRF) and SRE BP is necessary for maximal serum induction of the SRE. In this study, we have combined size fractionation of the SRE BP DNA binding activity with C/EBPbeta antibodies to demonstrate that homodimers and heterodimers of p35C/EBPbeta (a transactivator) and p20C/EBPbeta (a repressor) contribute to the SRE BP complex in NIH 3T3 cells. Transactivation of the SRE by p35C/EBPbeta is dependent on SRF binding but not ternary complex factor (TCF) formation. Both p35C/EBPbeta and p20C/EBPbeta bind to SRF in vitro via a carboxy-terminal domain that probably does not include the leucine zipper. Moreover, SRE mutants which retain responsiveness to the TCF-independent signaling pathway bind SRE BP in vitro with affinities that are nearly identical to that of the wild-type SRE, whereas mutant SRE.M, which is not responsive to the TCF-independent pathway, has a nearly 10-fold lower affinity for SRE BP. We propose that C/EBPbeta may play a role in conjunction with SRF in the TCF-independent signaling pathway for SRE activation.
Interaction between the TATA box-binding protein TBP and TFIIB is critical for transcription in vitro. An altered-specificity TBP-TFIIB interaction was rationally designed and linked in sequence to an altered-specificity TATA box-TBP interaction to study how TBP and TFIIB function together to support transcription in human cells. The activity of this altered-specificity TATA-TBP-TFIIB array demonstrated that many activators use the known TBP-TFIIB interaction to stimulate transcription. One activator, however, derived from a glutamine-rich activation domain of Sp1, activated transcription independently of this interaction. These results reveal that selectivity in activator function in vivo can be achieved through differential use of TBP and TFIIB.
The c-fos proto-oncogene has been implicated as a regulator of estrogen-mediated cell proliferation. We have tested the tissue specificity and antitumor efficacy of a mouse mammary tumor virus-regulated antisense c-fos retroviral vector. Systemically administered vector could be detected in several tissues but was only expressed in breast epithelium, thus supporting targeting to mouse mammary tumor virus-regulated tissues. Ex vivo transduction of 30-70% of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells produced expression of antifos RNA, decreased expression of the c-fos target mRNA, induction of differentiation, and inhibition of s.c. tumor growth and invasiveness. In vivo transduction of established i.p. MCF-7 tumors with a single injection of XM6:antifos inhibited tumor growth in athymic mice with a corresponding inhibition of c-fos, transforming growth factor beta1 and transforming growth factor alpha expression. Four daily injections with the antifos RNA induced a much larger MCF-7 i.p. tumor inhibition, with a marked prolongation of survival in the absence of any host tissue toxicity. These results indicate that inhibition of key nuclear genes such as c-fos may lead to disruption of paracrine factors and an antitumor effect, providing a strategy for cancer gene therapy.