Human STAGA complex is a chromatin-acetylating transcription coactivator that interacts with pre-mRNA splicing and DNA damage-binding factors in vivo

Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Oct;21(20):6782-95. doi: 10.1128/MCB.21.20.6782-6795.2001.


GCN5 is a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) originally identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and required for transcription of specific genes within chromatin as part of the SAGA (SPT-ADA-GCN5 acetylase) coactivator complex. Mammalian cells have two distinct GCN5 homologs (PCAF and GCN5L) that have been found in three different SAGA-like complexes (PCAF complex, TFTC [TATA-binding-protein-free TAF(II)-containing complex], and STAGA [SPT3-TAF(II)31-GCN5L acetylase]). The composition and roles of these mammalian HAT complexes are still poorly characterized. Here, we present the purification and characterization of the human STAGA complex. We show that STAGA contains homologs of most yeast SAGA components, including two novel human proteins with histone-like folds and sequence relationships to yeast SPT7 and ADA1. Furthermore, we demonstrate that STAGA has acetyl coenzyme A-dependent transcriptional coactivator functions from a chromatin-assembled template in vitro and associates in HeLa cells with spliceosome-associated protein 130 (SAP130) and DDB1, two structurally related proteins. SAP130 is a component of the splicing factor SF3b that associates with U2 snRNP and is recruited to prespliceosomal complexes. DDB1 (p127) is a UV-damaged-DNA-binding protein that is involved, as part of a complex with DDB2 (p48), in nucleotide excision repair and the hereditary disease xeroderma pigmentosum. Our results thus suggest cellular roles of STAGA in chromatin modification, transcription, and transcription-coupled processes through direct physical interactions with sequence-specific transcription activators and with components of the splicing and DNA repair machineries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism*
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • RNA Splicing*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Transcriptional Activation*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Chromatin
  • DDB1 protein, human
  • DDB2 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ddb1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nucleosomes
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear
  • SF3B3 protein, human
  • transformation-transcription domain-associated protein