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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 15;276(24):20973-80. Epub 2001 Apr 13.

Coactivator p300 acetylates the interferon regulatory factor-2 in U937 cells following phorbol ester treatment.

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Department of Safety Research on Biologics, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan.


Interferon regulatory factor-2 (IRF-2) is a transcription factor of the IRF family that represses interferon-mediated gene expression. In the present study, we show that human monocytic U937 cells express truncated forms of IRF-2 containing the DNA binding domain but lacking much of the C-terminal regulatory domain. U937 cells are shown to respond to phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) to induce expression of histone acetylases p300 and p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF). In addition, TPA treatment led to the appearance of full-length IRF-2, along with a reduction of the truncated protein. Interestingly, full-length IRF-2 in TPA-treated U937 cells occurred as a complex with p300 as well as PCAF and was itself acetylated. Consistent with these results, recombinant IRF-2 was acetylated by p300 and to a lesser degree by PCAF in vitro. Another IRF member, IRF-1, an activator of interferon-mediated transcription, was also acetylated in vitro by these acetylases. Finally, we demonstrate that the addition of IRF-2 but not IRF-1 inhibits core histone acetylation by p300 in vitro. The addition of IRF-2 also inhibited acetylation of nucleosomal histones in TPA-treated U937 cells. Acetylated IRF-2 may affect local chromatin structure in vivo by inhibiting core histone acetylation and may serve as a mechanism by which IRF-2 negatively regulates interferon-inducible transcription.

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