The Drosophila histone acetyltransferase Gcn5 and transcriptional adaptor Ada2a are involved in nucleosomal histone H4 acetylation

Anita Ciurciu, Orbán Komonyi, Tibor Pankotai, Imre M. Boros

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The histone acetyltransferase (HAT) Gcn5 plays a role in chromatin structure and gene expression regulation as a catalytic component of multiprotein complexes, some of which also contain Ada2-type transcriptional coactivators. Data obtained mostly from studies on yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) suggest that Ada2 potentiates Gcn5 activity and substrate recognition. dAda2b, one of two related Ada2 proteins of Drosophila melanogaster, was recently found to play a role in complexes acetylating histone 3 (H3). Evidence of an in vivo functional link between the related coactivator dAda2a and dGcn5, however, is lacking. Here we present data on the genetic interaction dGcn5 and dAda2a. The loss of either dGcn5 or dAda2a function results in similar chromosome structural and developmental defects. In dAda2a mutants, the nucleosomal H4 acetylation at lysines 12 and 5 is significantly reduced, while the acetylation established by dAda2b-containing Gcn5 complexes at H3 lysines 9 and 14 is unaffected. The data presented here, together with our earlier data on the function of dAda2b, provide evidence that related Ada2 proteins of Drosophila, together with Gcn5 HAT, are involved in the acetylation of specific lysine residues in the N-terminal tails of nucleosomal H3 and H4. Our data suggest dAda2a involvement in both uniformly distributed 114 acetylation and gene-specific transcription regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9413-9423
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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