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Mol Cell. 2000 Jun;5(6):905-15.

Synergistic coupling of histone H3 phosphorylation and acetylation in response to epidermal growth factor stimulation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


Histone acetylation and phosphorylation have separately been suggested to affect chromatin structure and gene expression. Here we report that these two modifications are synergistic. Stimulation of mammalian cells by epidermal growth factor (EGF) results in rapid and sequential phosphorylation and acetylation of H3, and these dimodified H3 molecules are preferentially associated with the EGF-activated c-fos promoter in a MAP kinase-dependent manner. In addition, the prototypical histone acetyltransferase Gcn5 displays an up to 10-fold preference for phosphorylated (Ser-10) H3 over nonphosphorylated H3 as substrate in vitro, suggesting that H3 phosphorylation can affect the efficiency of subsequent acetylation reactions. Together, these results illustrate how the addition of multiple histone modifications may be coupled during the process of gene expression.

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