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Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):551-61.

Activator-dependent transcription from chromatin in vitro involving targeted histone acetylation by p300.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The transcriptional coactivator p300 shows physical and functional interactions with a diverse group of activators and contains an intrinsic acetyltransferase activity whose exact coactivator functions in the acetylation of nucleosomal histones versus other factors are poorly documented. Here, we show that p300 mediates acetyl-CoA-dependent transcription by GAL4-VP16 from a nucleosomal array template, that this involves p300 targeting by GAL4-VP16 and promoter-proximal histone acetylation prior to transcription, and that the affinities of different activators for p300 roughly correlate with corresponding levels of p300-dependent transcription. These results indicate that activators recruit p300 to nucleosomal templates by direct interactions and that bound p300 stimulates transcription, at least in part, by localized histone acetylation.

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