Brd4 links chromatin targeting to HPV transcriptional silencing

Shwu-Yuan Wu, A-Young Lee, Samuel Y Hou, Jongsook Kim Kemper, Hediye Erdjument-Bromage, Paul Tempst, Cheng-Ming Chiang
Genes & Development 2006 September 1, 20 (17): 2383-96
The E2 protein encoded by human papillomaviruses (HPVs) inhibits expression of the viral E6 oncoprotein, which, in turn, regulates p53 target gene transcription. To identify cellular proteins involved in E2-mediated transcriptional repression, we isolated an E2 complex from human cells conditionally expressing HPV-11 E2. Surprisingly, the double bromodomain-containing protein Brd4, which is implicated in cell cycle control and viral genome segregation, was found associated with E2 and conferred on E2 the ability to inhibit AP-1-dependent HPV chromatin transcription in an E2-binding site-specific manner as illustrated by in vitro reconstituted chromatin transcription experiments. Knockdown of Brd4 in human cells alleviates E2-mediated repression of HPV transcription. The E2-interacting domain at the extreme C terminus and the chromatin targeting activity of a bromodomain-containing region are both essential for the corepressor activity of Brd4. Interestingly, E2-Brd4 blocks the recruitment of TFIID and RNA polymerase II to the HPV E6 promoter region without inhibiting acetylation of nucleosomal histones H3 and H4, indicating an acetylation-dependent role of Brd4 in the recruitment of E2 for transcriptional silencing of HPV gene activity. Our finding that Brd4 is a component of the virus-assembled transcriptional silencing complex uncovers a novel function of Brd4 as a cellular cofactor modulating viral gene expression.

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