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Nat Immunol. 2002 Jan;3(1):69-75. Epub 2001 Dec 17.

p38-Dependent marking of inflammatory genes for increased NF-kappa B recruitment.

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Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Via Vela 6, CH 6501, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


We found that inflammatory stimuli induce p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent phosphorylation and phosphoacetylation of histone H3; this selectively occurred on the promoters of a subset of stimulus-induced cytokine and chemokine genes. p38 activity was required to enhance the accessibility of the cryptic NF-kappa B binding sites contained in H3 phosphorylated promoters, which indicated that p38-dependent H3 phosphorylation may mark promoters for increased NF-kappa B recruitment. These results show that p38 plays an additional role in the induction of the inflammatory and immune response: the regulation of NF-kappa B recruitment to selected chromatin targets.

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