Tardáguila M, González-Gugel E, Sánchez-Pacheco A
Covalent histone modifications clearly play an essential role in ligand-dependent transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors. One of the predominant mechanisms used by nuclear receptors to activate or repress target-gene transcription is the recruitment of coregulatory factors capable of covalently modify the amino terminal ends of histones. Here we show that the thyroid hormone (T3) produces a rapid increase in histone H3Ser10 phosphorylation (H3Ser10ph) concomitant to the rapid displacement of the heterochromatin protein 1β (HP1β) to the nuclear periphery. Moreover, we found that T3-mediated pituitary gene transcription is associated with an increase in H3Ser10ph. Interestingly, the Aurora kinase B inhibitor ZM443979 abolishes the effect of T3 on H3Ser10ph, blocks HP1β delocalization, and significantly reduces ligand-dependent transactivation. Similar effects were shown when Aurora kinase B expression was abrogated in small interfering RNA assays. In an effort to understand the underlying mechanism by which T3 increases H3Ser10ph, we demonstrate that liganded thyroid hormone receptor directly interacts with Aurora kinase B, increasing its kinase activity. Moreover, using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we have shown that Aurora kinase B participates of a mechanism that displaces HP1β from promoter region, thus preparing the chromatin for the transcriptional activation of T3 regulated genes. Our findings reveal a novel role for Aurora kinase B during transcriptional initiation in GO/G1, apart from its well-known mitotic activity.