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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2008 Dec;18(6):741-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Oct 27.

Structure and chemistry of the p300/CBP and Rtt109 histone acetyltransferases: implications for histone acetyltransferase evolution and function.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


The recent structure and associated biochemical studies of the metazoan-specific p300/CBP and fungal-specific Rtt109 histone acetyltransferases (HATs) have provided new insights into the ancestral relationship between HATs and their functions. These studies point to a common HAT ancester that has evolved around a common structural framework to form HATs with divergent catalytic and substrate-binding properties. These studies also point to the importance of regulatory loops within HATs and autoacetylation in HAT function. Implications for future studies are discussed.

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