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J Phys Chem B. 2007 Oct 18;111(41):11877-9. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Autoacetylation induced specific structural changes in histone acetyltransferase domain of p300: probed by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

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Transcription and Disease Laboratory, Molecular Biology and Genetics Unit, and Light Scattering Laboratory, Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur P O, Bangalore, India.


Reversible acetylation of histone and non-histone proteins plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression and cellular homeostasis. A balance between acetylation and deacetylation of these proteins are maintained by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). Among different HATs, p300/CBP is the most widely studied chromatin modifying enzymes. p300 is involved in several physiological processes like cell growth, regulation of gene expression, development, and tumor suppressor, and therefore its dysfunction causes different diseases. The autoacetylation of p300 is one of the key regulators of its catalytic activity. Mechanistically, autoacetylation induced structural changes in the p300 HAT domain acts as a master switch. In this report, we have shown that the natural HAT inhibitor garcinol could potently inhibit the autoacetylation activity. Furthermore, for the first time, we demonstrate that indeed autoacetylation induces structural changes in p300 HAT domain, as probed by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Presumably, SERS will be a very useful tool to find out the structural changes in the other self-modifying enzymes like kinases and methyltransferases.

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