Dynamic recruitment of transcription factors and epigenetic changes on the ER stress response gene promoters

Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 Jun 6;34(10):3116-27. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkl304. Print 2006.


Response to stresses that alter the function of the endoplasmic reticulum is an important cellular function, which relies on the activation of specific genes. Several transcription factors (TFs) are known to affect this pathway. Using RT-PCR and ChIP assays, we studied the recruitment of promoter-specific TFs, general TFs and epigenetic marks in activated promoters. H3-K4 di- and tri-methylation and H3-K79 di-methylation are present before induction. H3 acetylation is generally high before induction, and H4 acetylation shows a promoter-specific increase. Interestingly, there is a depletion of histone H3 under maximal induction, explaining an apparent decrease of H3-K4 tri-methylation and H3-K79 di-methylation. Pol II is found enriched on some promoters under basal conditions, unlike TBP and p300, which are recruited selectively. Most genes are bound by XBP-1 after induction, some before induction, presumably by the inactive isoform. ATF6 and CHOP associate to largely different set of genes. C/EBPbeta is selective and binding to the CHOP promoter precedes that of XBP-1, ATF6 and CHOP. Finally, one of the ER-stress inducible genes analyzed, HRD1, is not bound by any of these factors. Among the constitutive TFs, NF-Y, but not Sp1, is found on all genes before induction. Intriguingly, siRNA interference of the NF-YB subunit indicates transcriptional impairment of some, but not all genes. These data highlight a previously unappreciated complexity of TFs binding and epigenetic changes, pointing to different TFs-specific pathways within this broad response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • CCAAT-Binding Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • CCAAT-Binding Factor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Methylation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors, General / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation*


  • CCAAT-Binding Factor
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Histones
  • NFYB protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors, General