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Biochem J. 2008 Feb 1;409(3):779-88.

Gcn5- and Elp3-induced histone H3 acetylation regulates hsp70 gene transcription in yeast.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of Ministry of Education, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.


The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanisms by which histone acetylation participates in transcriptional regulation of hsp70 (heat-shock protein 70) genes SSA3 and SSA4 in yeast. Our results indicated that histone acetylation was required for the transcriptional activation of SSA3 and SSA4. The HATs (histone acetyltransferases) Gcn5 (general control non-derepressible 5) and Elp3 (elongation protein 3) modulated hsp70 gene transcription by affecting the acetylation status of histone H3. Although the two HATs possessed overlapping function regarding the acetylation of histone H3, they affected hsp70 gene transcription in different ways. The recruitment of Gcn5 was Swi/Snf-dependent and was required for HSF (heat-shock factor) binding and affected RNAPII (RNA polymerase II) recruitment, whereas Elp3 exerted its roles mainly through affecting RNAPII elongation. These results provide insights into the effects of Gcn5 and Elp3 in hsp70 gene transcription and underscore the importance of histone acetylation for transcriptional initiation and elongation in hsp genes.

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