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J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 17;281(46):35070-80. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Alpha-actinin 4 potentiates myocyte enhancer factor-2 transcription activity by antagonizing histone deacetylase 7.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and the Research Institute of University Hospitals of Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) is a member of class IIa HDACs that regulate myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF2)-mediated transcription and participate in multiple cellular processes such as T cell apoptosis. We have identified alpha-actinin 1 and 4 as class IIa HDAC-interacting proteins. The interaction domains are mapped to C terminus of alpha-actinin 4 and amino acids 72-172 of HDAC7. A point mutation in HDAC7 that disrupts its association with MEF2A also disrupts its association with alpha-actinin 4, indicating that MEF2A and alpha-actinin 4 binding sites largely overlap. We have also isolated a novel splice variant of alpha-actinin 4 that is predominantly localized in the nucleus, a pattern distinct from the full-length alpha-actinin 4, which is primarily distributed in the cytoplasm and plasma membrane. Using small interfering RNA, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and transient transfection assays, we show that alpha-actinin 4 potentiates expression of TAF55, a putative MEF2 target gene. Loss of MEF2A interaction correlates with loss of the ability of alpha-actinin 4 to potentiate TAF55 promoter activity. Ectopic expression of alpha-actinin 4, but not the mutant defective in MEF2A association, leads to disruption of HDAC7.MEF2A association and enhancement of MEF2-mediated transcription. Taken together, we have identified a novel mechanism by which HDAC7 activity is negatively regulated and uncovered a previously unknown function of alpha-actinin 4.

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