Elongator: an ancestral complex driving transcription and migration through protein acetylation

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:924898. doi: 10.1155/2011/924898. Epub 2011 Jan 12.


Elongator is an evolutionary highly conserved complex. At least two of its cellular functions rely on the intrinsic lysine acetyl-transferase activity of the elongator complex. Its two known substrates--histone H3 and α-tubulin--reflect the different roles of elongator in the cytosol and the nucleus. A picture seems to emerge in which nuclear elongator could regulate the transcriptional elongation of a subset of stress-inducible genes through acetylation of histone H3 in the promoter-distal gene body. In the cytosol, elongator-mediated acetylation of α-tubulin contributes to intracellular trafficking and cell migration. Defects in both functions of elongator have been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / genetics
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / physiology*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • Histones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Tubulin
  • Histone Acetyltransferases