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Histone acetylation in chromatin structure and transcription.

Nature

Transcription, Genetic, Protein Conformation, Humans, physiology, metabolism, Histones, Heterochromatin, Gene Expression Regulation, Forecasting, chemistry, Chromatin, Animals, Acetylation

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      Abstract

      'The amino termini of histones extend from the nucleosomal core and are modified by acetyltransferases and deacetylases during the cell cycle. These acetylation patterns may direct histone assembly and help regulate the unfolding and activity of genes.

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      Most cited references 64

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      Tetrahymena histone acetyltransferase A: a homolog to yeast Gcn5p linking histone acetylation to gene activation.

      We report the cloning of a transcription-associated histone acetyltransferase type A(HAT A). This Tetrahymena enzyme is strikingly homologous to the yeast protein Gcn5, a putative transcriptional adaptor, and we demonstrate that recombinant Gcn5p possesses HAT activity. Both the ciliate enzyme and Gcn5p contain potential active site residues found in other acetyltransferases and a highly conserved bromodomain. The presence of this domain in nuclear A-type HATs, but not in cytoplasmic B-type HATs, suggests a mechanism whereby HAT A is directed to chromatin to facilitate transcriptional activation. These findings shed light on the biochemical function of the evolutionarily conserved Gcn5p-Ada complex, directly linking histone acetylation to gene activation, and indicate that histone acetylation is a targeted phenomenon.
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        The CBP co-activator is a histone acetyltransferase.

        The CBP protein acts as a transcriptional adaptor for many different transcription factors by directly contacting DNA-bound activators. One mechanism by which CBP is thought to stimulate transcription is by recruiting the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) P/CAF to the promoter. Here we show that CBP has intrinsic HAT activity. The HAT domain of CBP is adjacent to the binding site for the transcriptional activator E1A. Although E1A displaces P/CAF from CBP, it does not disrupt the CBP-associated HAT activity. Thus E1A carries HAT activity when complexed with CBP. Targeting CBP-associated HAT activity to specific promoters may therefore be a mechanism by which E1A acts as a transcriptional activator.
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          Nuclease hypersensitive sites in chromatin.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.1038/38664
            9311776

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