Skip to main content

Distinct roles of GCN5/PCAF-mediated H3K9ac and CBP/p300-mediated H3K18/27ac in nuclear receptor transactivation

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 — Poster Session II

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • Q Jin
  • L Yu
  • L Wang
  • Z Zhang
  • L Kasper
  • J Lee
  • C Wang
  • P Brindle
  • S Dent
  • K Ge


Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) GCN5 and PCAF (GCN5/PCAF) and CBP and p300 (CBP/p300) are transcription coactivators. However, how these two distinct families of HATs regulate gene activation remains unclear. Here we show deletion of GCN5/PCAF in cells specifically and dramatically reduces acetylation on histone H3K9 (H3K9ac) while deletion of CBP/p300 specifically and dramatically reduces acetylations on H3K18 and H3K27 (H3K18/27ac). A ligand for nuclear receptor (NR) PPARdelta induces sequential enrichment of H3K18/27ac, RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and H3K9ac on PPARdelta target gene Angptl4 promoter, which correlates with a robust Angptl4 expression. Inhibiting transcription elongation blocks ligand-induced H3K9ac, but not H3K18/27ac, on the Angptl4 promoter. Finally, we show GCN5/PCAF and GCN5/PCAF-mediated H3K9ac correlate with, but are surprisingly dispensable for, NR target gene activation. In contrast, CBP/p300 and their HAT activities are essential for ligand-induced Pol II recruitment on, and activation of, NR target genes. These results highlight the substrate and site specificities of HATs in cells, demonstrate the distinct roles of GCN5/PCAF- and CBP/p300-mediated histone acetylations in gene activation, and suggest an important role of CBP/p300-mediated H3K18/27ac in NR-dependent transcription.

back to top