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Epigenetics. 2013 Mar;8(3):268-80. doi: 10.4161/epi.23861. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Epigenetic repression of LEDGF during UVB exposure by recruitment of SUV39H1 and HDAC1 to the Sp1-responsive elements within LEDGF promoter CpG island.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.


Expression level of lens epithelial derived growth factor (LEDGF) is vital for LEDGF-mediated cell survival and cytoprotection against proapoptotic stimuli. We previously demonstrated that LEDGF is transcriptionally regulated by Sp1-responsive elements within a CpG island in the LEDGF promoter. Herein, we report on the existence of epigenetic signaling involved in the repression of LEDGF transcription in lens epithelial cells (LECs) facing UVB. UVB exposure led to histone H3 dimethylation and deacetylation at its CpG island, where a histone deacetylase/histone methylase (HDAC1/SUV39H1) complex was recruited. Exposure of LECs to UVB stress altered LEDGF protein and mRNA expression as well as promoter activity, while failing to methylate the CpG island. These events were correlated with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increased cell death. LEDGF promoter activity and expression remained unaltered after 5-Aza treatment, but were relieved with tricostatin A, an inhibitor of HDACs. Expression analysis disclosed that UVB radiation altered the global expression levels of acetylated histone proteins, diminished total histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity and increased HDAC activity and HDAC1 expression. In silico analysis of LEDGF proximal promoter and ChIP analyses disclosed HDAC1/SUV39H1 complex anchored to the -170/-10 nt promoter regions at Sp1-responsive elements and also attenuated Sp1 binding, resulting in HDAC1- and SUV39H1-dependent deacetylation and dimethylation of H3 at K9. Acetylation of H3K9 was essential for LEDGF active transcription, while enrichment of H3K9me2 at Sp1-responsive elements within CpGs (-170/-10) by UVB radiation repressed LEDGF transcription. Our study may contribute to understanding diseases associated with LEDGF aberrant expression due to specific epigenetic modifications, including blinding disorders.


DNA methyltransferase; LEDGE; Sp1; epigenetics; histone acetyltransferases; histone deacetylase; transcription

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