JOURNAL ARTICLE

Histone cross-talk connects protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) pathways to regulate the functional transition of bromodomain-containing 4 (BRD4) for inducible gene expression

Xiangming Hu, Xiaodong Lu, Runzhong Liu, Nanping Ai, Zhenhua Cao, Yannan Li, Jiangfang Liu, Bin Yu, Kai Liu, Huiping Wang, Chao Zhou, Yu Wang, Aidong Han, Feng Ding, Ruichuan Chen
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2014 August 15, 289 (33): 23154-67
24939842
Transcription elongation has been recognized as a rate-limiting step for the expression of signal-inducible genes. Through recruitment of positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb, the bromodomain-containing protein BRD4 plays critical roles in regulating the transcription elongation of a vast array of inducible genes that are important for multiple cellular processes. The diverse biological roles of BRD4 have been proposed to rely on its functional transition between chromatin targeting and transcription regulation. The signaling pathways and the molecular mechanism for regulating this transition process, however, are largely unknown. Here, we report a novel role of phosphorylated Ser(10) of histone H3 (H3S10ph) in governing the functional transition of BRD4. We identified that the acetylated lysines 5 and 8 of nucleosomal histone H4 (H4K5ac/K8ac) is the BRD4 binding site, and the protein phosphatase PP1α and class I histone deacetylase (HDAC1/2/3) signaling pathways are essential for the stress-induced BRD4 release from chromatin. In the unstressed state, phosphorylated H3S10 prevents the deacetylation of nucleosomal H4K5ac/K8ac by HDAC1/2/3, thereby locking up the majority of BRD4 onto chromatin. Upon stress, PP1α-mediated dephosphorylation of H3S10ph allows the deacetylation of nucleosomal H4K5ac/K8ac by HDAC1/2/3, thereby leading to the release of chromatin-bound BRD4 for subsequent recruitment of P-TEFb to enhance the expression of inducible genes. Therefore, our study revealed a novel mechanism that the histone cross-talk between H3S10ph and H4K5ac/K8ac connects PP1α and HDACs to govern the functional transition of BRD4. Combined with previous studies on the regulation of P-TEFb activation, the intricate signaling network for the tight control of transcription elongation is established.

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