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EMBO Rep. 2001 Jan;2(1):21-6.

Physical association between the histone acetyl transferase CBP and a histone methyl transferase.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire Eucaryote, Institut de Biologie Cellulaire et Génétique, Toulouse, France.


CBP (CREB-binding protein) is involved in transcriptional activation by a great variety of sequence-specific transcription factors. CBP has been shown to activate transcription through its histone acetyl transferase activity. Acetylation is a common post-translational modification of nucleosomal histone N-terminal tails, which generally correlates with transcriptional activation. Histone N-terminal tails are also modified by methylation but its functional consequences are largely unknown. Here we found that immunoprecipitation of CBP, or of the highly related p300, led to the co-immunoprecipitation of a robust histone methyl transferase (HMT) activity, indicating that CBP physically interacts with an HMT in living cells. The CBP-associated HMT is specific for lysines 4 and 9 of histone H3, which are known to be methylated in living cells. These results suggest that histone methylation could be involved in transcriptional activation. Furthermore, they raise the question of the link between histone methylation and acetylation.

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