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Genes Dev. 2011 Jun 1;25(11):1132-46. doi: 10.1101/gad.619211.

Methylation specifies distinct estrogen-induced binding site repertoires of CBP to chromatin.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Institut Génétique de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC), Illkirch-Cedex, France.


Multiple signaling pathways ultimately modulate the epigenetic information embedded in the chromatin of gene promoters by recruiting epigenetic enzymes. We found that, in estrogen-regulated gene programming, the acetyltransferase CREB-binding protein (CBP) is specifically and exclusively methylated by the coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase (CARM1) in vivo. CARM1-dependent CBP methylation and p160 coactivators were required for estrogen-induced recruitment to chromatin targets. Notably, methylation increased the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity of CBP and stimulated its autoacetylation. Comparative genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) studies revealed a variety of patterns by which p160, CBP, and methyl-CBP (meCBP) are recruited (or not) by estrogen to chromatin targets. Moreover, significant target gene-specific variation in the recruitment of (1) the p160 RAC3 protein, (2) the fraction of a given meCBP species within the total CBP, and (3) the relative recruitment of different meCBP species suggests the existence of a target gene-specific "fingerprint" for coregulator recruitment. Crossing ChIP-seq and transcriptomics profiles revealed the existence of meCBP "hubs" within the network of estrogen-regulated genes. Together, our data provide evidence for an unprecedented mechanism by which CARM1-dependent CBP methylation results in gene-selective association of estrogen-recruited meCBP species with different HAT activities and specifies distinct target gene hubs, thus diversifying estrogen receptor programming.

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