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J Biol Chem. 2012 Apr 13;287(16):12723-35. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.351395. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Krüppel-like factor 11 differentially couples to histone acetyltransferase and histone methyltransferase chromatin remodeling pathways to transcriptionally regulate dopamine D2 receptor in neuronal cells.

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Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


The importance of Krüppel-like factor (KLF)-mediated transcriptional pathways in the biochemistry of neuronal differentiation has been recognized relatively recently. Elegant studies have revealed that KLF proteins are important regulators of two major molecular and cellular processes critical for neuronal cell differentiation: neurite formation and the expression of neurotransmitter-related genes. However, whether KLF proteins mediate these key processes in a separate or coordinated fashion remains unknown. Moreover, knowledge on the contribution of chromatin dynamics to the biochemical mechanisms utilized by these proteins to perform their function is absent. Here we report the characterization of two antagonistic, chromatin-mediated mechanisms by which KLF11, also known as TIEG2 (transforming growth factor-β-inducible early gene 2) and MODY VII (maturity onset diabetes of the young VII), regulates transcription of the fopamine D2 receptor (Drd2) gene. First, KLF11 activates transcription by binding to a distinct Sp-KLF site within the Drd2 promoter (-98 to -94) and recruiting the p300 histone acetyltransferase. Second, Drd2 transcriptional activation is partially antagonized by heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), the code reader for histone H3 lysine 9 methylation. Interestingly, KLF11 regulates neurotransmitter receptor gene expression in differentiating neuronal cell populations without affecting neurite formation. Overall, these studies highlight histone methylation and acetylation as key biochemical mechanisms modulating KLF-mediated neurotransmitter gene transcription. These data extend our knowledge of chromatin-mediated biochemical events that maintain key phenotypic features of differentiated neuronal cells.

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