Potent Stimulation of Gene Expression by Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors on Transiently Transfected DNA

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Nov 5;324(1):348-54. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.09.055.


Transcription activity of chromatin is associated with histone acetylation which is regulated by recruitment of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases (HDAC) to specific chromatin regions. We have tested how expression of a transfected or stably introduced gene correlates with histone acetylation. Our results demonstrate that expression of transiently transfected green fluorescence protein (GFP) genes is significantly enhanced by HDAC inhibitors. Although HDAC treatment did not induce noticeable changes in the chromatin structure of genomic DNA, chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that more transiently transfected DNA is assembled into chromatin containing acetylated histones in HDAC inhibitor treated cells when compared to untreated cells. For stably integrated GFP, the expression response to HDAC inhibitors varies between independent stable cell lines. However, there was no difference in histone acetylation associated with the integrated transgene between HDAC inhibitor responsive and non-responsive cells. Furthermore, the overall enhancement of transgene expression by HDAC inhibitors was not as pronounced as in transiently transfected cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors*
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism
  • Hydroxamic Acids / metabolism
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection*
  • Transgenes


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • trichostatin A
  • DNA
  • Histone Deacetylases