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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jun 7;277(23):20284-92. Epub 2002 Mar 13.

Histone acetylation in vivo at the osteocalcin locus is functionally linked to vitamin D-dependent, bone tissue-specific transcription.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.

Abstract

The accessibility of regulatory elements in chromatin represents a principal rate-limiting parameter of gene transcription and is modulated by enzymatic transcriptional co-factors that alter the topology of chromatin or covalently modify histones (e.g. by acetylation). The bone-specific activation and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) enhancement of osteocalcin (OC) gene transcription are both functionally linked to modifications in nucleosomal organization. The initiation of tissue-specific basal transcription is accompanied by the induction of two DNase I hypersensitive sites, and this chromatin remodeling event requires binding of the key osteogenic factor RUNX2/CBFA1 to the OC promoter. Here, we analyzed the acetylation status of histones H3 and H4 when the OC gene is active (in osteoblastic ROS17/2.8 cells) or inactive (in fibroblastic ROS24/1 cells) using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. We find that acetylated histone H3 and H4 proteins are associated with the OC promoter only when the gene is transcriptionally active and that the acetylation status is relatively uniform across the OC locus under basal conditions. Acetylation of H4 at the OC gene is selectively increased following vitamin D(3) enhancement of OC transcription, with the most prominent changes occurring in the region between the vitamin D(3) enhancer and basal promoter. Thus, our results suggest functional linkage of H3 and H4 acetylation in specific regions of the OC promoter to chromatin remodeling that accompanies tissue-specific transcriptional activation and vitamin D enhancement of OC gene expression. These findings provide mechanistic insights into bone-specific gene activation within a native genomic context in response to steroid hormone-related regulatory cues.

PMID:
11893738
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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