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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 30;278(22):20405-12. Epub 2003 Mar 26.

c-Myc transformation domain recruits the human STAGA complex and requires TRRAP and GCN5 acetylase activity for transcription activation.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside 92521, USA.


Deregulation of the c-Myc oncoprotein (Myc) is implicated in many types of cancer. Myc is a sequence-specific transcription factor that regulates transcription of genes involved in the control of cell proliferation and apoptosis via mechanisms that are still poorly understood. Cell transformation by Myc involves its association with the transformation-transactivation domain-associated protein (TRRAP) and the human histone acetyltransferase (HAT) GCN5. TRRAP and GCN5 are components of a variety of shared and distinct multiprotein HAT complexes with diverse functions. Myc induces TRRAP recruitment and histone hyperacetylation at specific Myc-activated genes in vivo. However, the identity of the HAT complexes recruited by Myc and the roles of TRRAP and GCN5 in Myc function are still unclear. Here we show that Myc co-recruits TRRAP and GCN5 via direct physical interactions of its N-terminal activation/transformation domain with the human STAGA (SPT3-TAF-GCN5 acetylase) coactivator complex. We demonstrate that GCN5 and TRRAP cooperate to enhance transcription activation by the N-terminal activation domain of Myc in vivo and that this synergy requires both the SPT3/GCN5 interaction domain of TRRAP and the HAT activity of GCN5. Thus, TRRAP might function as an adaptor within the STAGA complex, which helps recruit GCN5 HAT activity to Myc during transcription activation.

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