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J Cell Sci. 2001 Jul;114(Pt 13):2363-73.

p300/CBP proteins: HATs for transcriptional bridges and scaffolds.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Davidson Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.


p300/CBP transcriptional co-activator proteins play a central role in co-ordinating and integrating multiple signal-dependent events with the transcription apparatus, allowing the appropriate level of gene activity to occur in response to diverse physiological cues that influence, for example, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. p300/CBP activity can be under aberrant control in human disease, particularly in cancer, which may inactivate a p300/CBP tumour-suppressor-like activity. The transcription regulating-properties of p300 and CBP appear to be exerted through multiple mechanisms. They act as protein bridges, thereby connecting different sequence-specific transcription factors to the transcription apparatus. Providing a protein scaffold upon which to build a multicomponent transcriptional regulatory complex is likely to be an important feature of p300/CBP control. Another key property is the presence of histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity, which endows p300/CBP with the capacity to influence chromatin activity by modulating nucleosomal histones. Other proteins, including the p53 tumour suppressor, are targets for acetylation by p300/CBP. With the current intense level of research activity, p300/CBP will continue to be in the limelight and, we can be confident, yield new and important information on fundamental processes involved in transcriptional control.

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