Chen W, Jia W, Wang K, Si X, Zhu S, Duan T, Kang J
In mammalian germ cells, meiotic commitment requires the expression of Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8), which is transcriptionally activated by retinoic acid (RA). However, little is known about the epigenetic mechanism by which RA induces Stra8 expression. Utilizing a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP), we showed that RA increases histone acetylation at the Stra8 promoter in murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), a model for germ cell differentiation. Furthermore, we explored whether two coregulators with histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity, Creb-binding protein (CBP) and p300, are involved in the activation of Stra8. The lentiviral shRNA knockdown of endogenous CBP led to Stra8 repression, while the overexpression of CBP enhanced Stra8 expression at both the mRNA and protein levels. ChIP analysis confirmed that CBP is the crucial coactivator for RA-mediated Stra8 transcription and that it enhances the level of histone acetylation and recruits RNA polymerase II to establish transcriptionally active chromatin. Furthermore, shRNA of p300 enhanced Stra8 expression, and the overexpression of p300 reduced Stra8 expression, independently of its HAT activity. ChIP showed that the knockdown of p300 significantly increased the level of CBP at the Stra8 promoter. These findings demonstrate that CBP and p300 play distinct roles in RA-mediated Stra8 gene transcription.