Dynamic changes in genomic histone association and modification during activation of the ASNS and ATF3 genes by amino acid limitation.
ABSTRACT: Amino acid deprivation of mammalian cells triggers several signalling pathways, the AAR (amino acid response), that results in transcriptional activation. For the ASNS (asparagine synthetase) and ATF3 (activating transcription factor 3) genes, increased transcription occurs in conjunction with recruitment of ATF4 to the gene. In HepG2 cells, analysis of the ASNS and ATF3 genes during AAR activation revealed increases in histone H3K4me3 (histone 3 trimethylated Lys4) and H4Ac (acetylated histone 4) levels, marks associated with active transcription, but a concurrent loss of total H3 protein near the promoter. The dynamic nature of AAR-regulated transcription was illustrated by a decline in ASNS transcription activity within minutes after removal of the AAR stress and a return to basal levels by 2 h. Reversal of ASNS transcription occurred in parallel with decreased promoter-associated H4Ac and ATF4 binding. However, the reduction in histone H3 and increase in H3K4me3 were not reversed. In yeast, persistence of H3K4me3 has been proposed to be a 'memory' mark of gene activity that alters the responsiveness of the gene, but the time course and magnitude of ASNS induction was unaffected when cells were challenged with a second round of AAR activation. The results of the present study document changes in gene-associated nucleosome abundance and histone modifications in response to amino-acid-dependent transcription.
Project description:We generated high-resolution maps of histone H3 lysine 9/14 acetylation (H3ac), histone H4 lysine 5/8/12/16 acetylation (H4ac), and histone H3 at lysine 4 mono-, di-, and trimethylation (H3K4me1, H3K4me2, H3K4me3, respectively) across the ENCODE regions. Studying each modification in five human cell lines including the ENCODE Consortium common cell lines GM06990 (lymphoblastoid) and HeLa-S3, as well as K562, HFL-1, and MOLT4, we identified clear patterns of histone modification profiles with respect to genomic features. H3K4me3, H3K4me2, and H3ac modifications are tightly associated with the transcriptional start sites (TSSs) of genes, while H3K4me1 and H4ac have more widespread distributions. TSSs reveal characteristic patterns of both types of modification present and the position relative to TSSs. These patterns differ between active and inactive genes and in particular the state of H3K4me3 and H3ac modifications is highly predictive of gene activity. Away from TSSs, modification sites are enriched in H3K4me1 and relatively depleted in H3K4me3 and H3ac. Comparison between cell lines identified differences in the histone modification profiles associated with transcriptional differences between the cell lines. These results provide an overview of the functional relationship among histone modifications and gene expression in human cells.
Project description:Expression of ATF3 (activating transcription factor 3) is induced by a variety of environmental stress conditions, including nutrient limitation. In the present study, we demonstrate that the increase in ATF3 mRNA content following amino acid limitation of human HepG2 hepatoma cells is dependent on transcriptional activation of the ATF3 gene, through a highly co-ordinated amino acid-responsive programme of transcription factor synthesis and action. Studies using transient over-expression and knockout fibroblasts showed that several ATF and C/EBP (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein) family members contribute to ATF3 regulation. Promoter analysis showed that a C/EBP-ATF composite site at -23 to -15 bp relative to the transcription start site of the ATF3 gene functions as an AARE (amino acid response element). Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that amino acid limitation increased ATF4, ATF3, and C/EBPbeta binding to the ATF3 promoter, but the kinetics of each was markedly different. Immediately following histidine removal, there was a rapid increase in histone H3 acetylation prior to an enhancement in ATF4 binding and in histone H4 acetylation. These latter changes closely paralleled the initial increase in RNA pol II (RNA polymerase II) binding to the promoter and in the transcription rate from the ATF3 gene. The increase in ATF3 and C/EBPbeta binding was considerably slower and more closely correlated with a decline in transcription rate. A comparison of the recruitment patterns between ATF and C/EBP transcription factors and RNA polymerase II at the AARE of several amino acid-responsive genes revealed that a highly co-ordinated response programme controls the transcriptional activation of these genes following amino acid limitation.
Project description:Traditional toxicological paradigms have relied on factors such as age, genotype, and disease status to explain variability in responsiveness to toxicant exposure; however, these are neither sufficient to faithfully identify differentially responsive individuals nor are they modifiable factors that can be leveraged to mitigate the exposure effects. Unlike these factors, the epigenome is dynamic and shaped by an individual's environment. We sought to determine whether baseline levels of specific chromatin modifications correlated with the interindividual variability in their ozone (O3)-mediated induction in an air-liquid interface model using primary human bronchial epithelial cells from a panel of 11 donors. We characterized the relationship between the baseline abundance of 6 epigenetic markers with established roles as key regulators of gene expression-histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3), H3K27 acetylation (H3K27ac), pan-acetyl H4 (H4ac), histone H3K27 di/trimethylation (H3K27me2/3), unmodified H3, and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC)-and the variability in the O3-induced expression of IL-8, IL-6, COX2, and HMOX1. Baseline levels of H3K4me3, H3K27me2/3, and 5-hmC, but not H3K27ac, H4ac, and total H3, correlated with the interindividual variability in O3-mediated induction of HMOX1 and COX2. In contrast, none of the chromatin modifications that we examined correlated with the induction of IL-8 and IL-6. From these findings, we propose an "epigenetic seed and soil" model in which chromatin modification states between individuals differ in the relative abundance of specific modifications (the "soil") that govern how receptive the gene is to toxicant-mediated cellular signals (the "seed") and thus regulate the magnitude of exposure-related gene induction.
Project description:Histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) is a hallmark of transcription initiation, but how H3K4me3 is demethylated during gene repression is poorly understood. Jhd2, a JmjC domain protein, was recently identified as the major H3K4me3 histone demethylase (HDM) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Although JHD2 is required for removal of methylation upon gene repression, deletion of JHD2 does not result in increased levels of H3K4me3 in bulk histones, indicating that this HDM is unable to demethylate histones during steady-state conditions. In this study, we showed that this was due to the negative regulation of Jhd2 activity by histone H3 lysine 14 acetylation (H3K14ac), which colocalizes with H3K4me3 across the yeast genome. We demonstrated that loss of the histone H3-specific acetyltransferases (HATs) resulted in genome-wide depletion of H3K4me3, and this was not due to a transcription defect. Moreover, H3K4me3 levels were reestablished in HAT mutants following loss of JHD2, which suggested that H3-specific HATs and Jhd2 serve opposing functions in regulating H3K4me3 levels. We revealed the molecular basis for this suppression by demonstrating that H3K14ac negatively regulated Jhd2 demethylase activity on an acetylated peptide in vitro. These results revealed the existence of a general mechanism for removal of H3K4me3 following gene repression.
Project description:The integrated stress response (ISR), a defense mechanism cells employ when under stress (e.g., amino acid deprivation), causes suppression of global protein synthesis along with the paradoxical increased expression of a host of proteins that are useful in combating various stresses. Genes that were similarly differentially expressed under conditions of either leucine- or cysteine-depletion were identified. Many of the genes known to contain an amino acid response element and to be induced in response to eIF2? phosphorylation and ATF4 heterodimer binding (ATF3, C/EBP?, SLC7A1, SLC7A11, and TRIB3), as well as others shown to be induced downstream of eIF2? phosphorylation (C/EBP?, CARS, SARS, CLCN3, CBX4, and PPP1R15A) were among the upregulated genes. Evidence for the induction of the ISR in these cells also included the increased phosphorylation of eIF2? and increased protein abundance of ATF4, ATF3, and ASNS in cysteine- and leucine-depleted cells. Based on genes highly differentially expressed in both leucine- and cysteine-deficient cells, a list of 67 downregulated and 53 upregulated genes is suggested as likely targets of essential amino acid deprivation in mammalian cells.
Project description:Histone methylation patterns are correlated with eukaryotic gene transcription. High-affinity binding of the plant homeodomain (PHD) of TFIID subunit TAF3 to trimethylated lysine-4 of histone H3 (H3K4me3) is involved in promoter recruitment of this basal transcription factor. Here, we show that for transcription activation the PHD of TAF3 can be replaced by PHDs of other high-affinity H3K4me3 binders. Interestingly, H3K4me3 binding of TFIID and the TAF3-PHD is decreased by phosphorylation of the adjacent threonine residue (H3T3), which coincides with mitotic inhibition of transcription. Ectopic expression of the H3T3 kinase haspin repressed TAF3-mediated transcription of endogenous and of reporter genes and decreased TFIID association with chromatin. Conversely, immunofluorescence and live-cell microscopy studies showed an increased association of TFIID with mitotic chromosomes upon haspin knockdown. Based on our observations, we propose that a histone H3 phospho-methyl switch regulates TFIID-mediated transcription during mitotic progression of the cell cycle.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Activating Transcription Factor (ATF) 3 is a key regulator of the cellular integrated stress response whose expression has also been correlated with pro-apoptotic activities in tumour cell models. Combination treatments with chemotherapeutic drugs, such as cisplatin, and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been demonstrated to enhance tumour cell cytotoxicity. We recently demonstrated a role for ATF3 in regulating cisplatin-induced apoptosis and others have shown that HDAC inhibition can also induce cellular stress. In this study, we evaluated the role of ATF3 in regulating the co-operative cytotoxicity of cisplatin in combination with an HDAC inhibitor. RESULTS:The HDAC inhibitor M344 induced ATF3 expression at the protein and mRNA level in a panel of human derived cancer cell lines as determined by Western blot and quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Combination treatment with M344 and cisplatin lead to increased induction of ATF3 compared with cisplatin alone. Utilizing the MTT cell viability assay, M344 treatments also enhanced the cytotoxic effects of cisplatin in these cancer cell lines. The mechanism of ATF3 induction by M344 was found to be independent of MAPKinase pathways and dependent on ATF4, a known regulator of ATF3 expression. ATF4 heterozygote (+/-) and knock out (-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) as well as chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays were utilized in determining the mechanistic induction of ATF3 by M344. We also demonstrated that ATF3 regulates the enhanced cytotoxicity of M344 in combination with cisplatin as evidenced by attenuation of cytotoxicity in shRNAs targeting ATF3 expressing cells. CONCLUSION:This study identifies the pro-apoptotic factor, ATF3 as a novel target of M344, as well as a mediator of the co-operative effects of cisplatin and M344 induced tumour cell cytotoxicity.
Project description:Tumours contain hypoxic regions that select for an aggressive cell phenotype; tumour hypoxia induces metastasis-associated genes. Treatment refractory patients with metastatic cancer show increased numbers of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), which are also associated with disease progression. The aim of this study was to examine the as yet unknown relationship between hypoxia and CTCs.We generated human MDA-MB-231 orthotopic xenografts and, using a new technology, isolated viable human CTCs from murine blood. The CTCs and parental MDA-MB-231 cells were incubated at 21 and 0.2% (hypoxia) oxygen, respectively. Colony formation was assayed and levels of hypoxia- and anoxia-inducible factors were measured. Xenografts generated from CTCs and parental cells were compared.MDA-MB-231 xenografts used to generate CTCs were hypoxic, expressing hypoxia factors: hypoxia-inducible factor1 alpha (HIF1alpha) and glucose transporter protein type 1 (GLUT1), and anoxia-induced factors: activating transcription factor 3 and 4 (ATF3 and ATF4). Parental MDA-MB-231 cells induced ATF3 in hypoxia, whereas CTCs expressed it constitutively. Asparagine synthetase (ASNS) expression was also higher in CTCs. Hypoxia induced ATF4 and the HIF1alpha target gene apelin in CTCs, but not in parental cells. Hypoxia induced lower levels of carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), GLUT1 and BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19-KD protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3) proteins in CTCs than in parental cells, supporting an altered hypoxia response. In chronic hypoxia, CTCs demonstrated greater colony formation than parental cells. Xenografts generated from CTCs were larger and heavier, and metastasised faster than MDA-MB-231 xenografts.CTCs show an altered hypoxia response and an enhanced aggressive phenotype in vitro and in vivo.
Project description:The adaptive response to amino acid limitation in mammalian cells inhibits global protein synthesis and promotes the expression of proteins that protect cells from stress. The arginine/lysine transporter, cat-1, is induced during amino acid starvation by transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. It is shown in the present study that the transient induction of cat-1 transcription is regulated by the stress response pathway that involves phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor, eIF2 (eukaryotic initiation factor-2). This phosphorylation induces expression of the bZIP (basic leucine zipper protein) transcription factors C/EBP (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein)-beta and ATF (activating transcription factor) 4, which in turn induces ATF3. Transfection experiments in control and mutant cells, and chromatin immunoprecipitations showed that ATF4 activates, whereas ATF3 represses cat-1 transcription, via an AARE (amino acid response element), TGATGAAAC, in the first exon of the cat-1 gene, which functions both in the endogenous and in a heterologous promoter. ATF4 and C/EBPbeta activated transcription when expressed in transfected cells and they bound as heterodimers to the AARE in vitro. The induction of transcription by ATF4 was inhibited by ATF3, which also bound to the AARE as a heterodimer with C/EBPbeta. These results suggest that the transient increase in cat-1 transcription is due to transcriptional activation caused by ATF4 followed by transcriptional repression by ATF3 via a feedback mechanism.
Project description:For animals, dietary protein is critical for the nutrition of the organism and, at the cellular level, protein nutrition translates into amino acid availability. Amino acid deprivation triggers the AAR (amino acid response) pathway, which causes enhanced transcription from specific target genes. The present results show that C/EBPbeta (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta) mRNA and protein content were increased following the deprivation of HepG2 human hepatoma cells of a single amino acid. Although there was a modest increase in mRNA half-life following histidine limitation, the primary mechanism for the elevated steady-state mRNA was increased transcription. Transient transfection documented that C/EBPbeta genomic fragments containing the 8451 bp 5' upstream of the transcription start site did not contain amino-acid-responsive elements. However, deletion analysis of the genomic region located 3' downstream of the protein coding sequence revealed that a 93 bp fragment contained an amino-acid-responsive activity that functioned as an enhancer. Exogenous expression of ATF4 (activating transcription factor 4), known to activate other genes through amino acid response elements, caused increased transcription from reporter constructs containing the C/EBPbeta enhancer in cells maintained in complete amino acid medium. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that RNA polymerase II is bound at the C/EBPbeta promoter and at the 93 bp regulatory region in vivo, whereas ATF4 binds to the enhancer region only. Immediately following amino acid removal, the kinetics of binding for ATF4, ATF3, and C/EBPbeta itself to the 93 bp regulatory region were similar to those observed for the amino-acid-responsive asparagine synthetase gene. Collectively the findings show that expression of C/EBPbeta, which contributes to the regulation of amino-acid-responsive genes, is itself controlled by amino acid availability through transcription.