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Biochem Soc Trans. 2000;28(4):410-4.

Recruitment of chromatin remodelling factors during gene activation via the glucocorticoid receptor N-terminal domain.

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Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet, Novum, SE-141 57 Huddinge, Sweden.


We have shown that yeast mutants with defects in the Ada adaptor proteins are defective in hormone-dependent gene activation by ectopically expressed human glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Others have shown that the Ada2 protein is required for physical interactions between some activation domains and TBP (TATA-binding protein), whereas the Gcn5 (Ada4) protein has a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity. Although all HAT enzymes are able to acetylate histone substrates, some also acetylate non-histone proteins. Taken together, these observations suggest that the Ada proteins have the ability to effect different steps in the process of gene activation. It has recently been shown that the Ada proteins are present in two distinct protein complexes, the Ada complex and a larger SAGA complex. Our recent work has focused on determining (1) which of the Ada-containing complexes mediates gene activation by GR, (2) whether the HAT activity encoded by GCN5 is required for GR-dependent gene activation, (3) whether the Ada proteins contribute to GR-mediated activation at the level of chromatin remodelling and (4) how the role of these HAT complexes is integrated with other chromatin remodelling activities during GR-mediated gene activation. Our results suggest a model in which GR recruits the SAGA complex and that this contributes to chromatin remodelling via a mechanism involving the acetylation of histones. Furthermore, recruitment of the SWI/SNF remodelling complex also has a role in GR-mediated activation that is independent of the role of SAGA. These complexes are similar to analogous mammalian complexes and therefore these results are likely to be relevant to the human system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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