Bomsztyk K, Flanagin S, Mar D, Mikula M, Johnson A, Zager R, Denisenko O
BACKGROUND: As a consequence of acute kidney injury (AKI), proximal tubular cells hyperrespond to endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) by exaggerated renal Tnf-α Production. This LPS hyperresponsiveness is transcriptionally mediated. The epigenetic pathways that control these responses are unknown. METHODS/FINDINGS: We applied multiplex chromatin immunoprecipitation platform (Matrix ChIP) to explore epigenetic pathways that underlie endotoxin hyperresponsiveness in the setting of preceding unilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in mouse AKI model. Endotoxin exposure after I/R resulted in enhanced transcription, manifested by hyperresponsive recruitment of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) at the Tnf-α gene. At this locus, LPS but not I/R increased levels of Pol II C-terminal domain (CTD) phosho-serine2 &5 and induced dephosphorylation of the transcription-repressive histone H4 phospho-serine-1. In contrast, I/R but not LPS increased the transcription-permissive histone phosphorylation (H3 phospho-serine-10, H3.3 phospho-serine-31) at the Tnf-α gene. In agreement with these observations, I/R but not LPS increased activity of cognate kinases (Erk1/2, Msk1/2 and Aurora A) at the Tnf-α locus. Cross-talk of histone phosphorylation and acetylation synergize to active gene expression. I/R and LPS increased histone acetylation. (H3K9/14Ac, H4K5/8/12/16Ac, H2KA5Ac, H2BK4/7Ac). Levels of some histone acetyltransferases at this gene (PCAF and MOF) were increased by I/R but not by LPS, while others were induced by either I/R or LPS and exhibited endotoxin hyperresponsive patterns (GCN5, CBP and p300). The adaptor protein 14-3-3 couples histone phosphorylation with acetylation, and tethers chromatin modifiers/transcription elongation factors to target genes. Both I/R and LPS increased levels of 14-3-3 and several chromatin/transcription modifiers (BRD4, BRG1, HP-1γ and IKKα) at the Tnf-α gene, all exhibiting endotoxin hyperresponsive recruitment patterns similar to Pol II. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that I/R and LPS differentially trigger phosphorylation (Pol II and histone) and acetylation (histone) epigenetic pathways that interact at the Tnf-α gene to generate endotoxin hyperresponse in AKI.