Background: p300/CBP associating factor (PCAF, also known as KAT2B for lysine acetyltransferase 2B) is a catalytic subunit of megadalton metazoan complex ATAC (Ada-Two-A containing complex) for acetylation of histones. However, relatively little is known about the regulation of the enzymatic activity of PCAF.
Results: Here we present two dimeric structures of the PCAF acetyltransferase (HAT) domain. These dimerizations are mediated by either four-helical hydrophobic interactions or a ß-sheet extension. Our chemical cross-linking experiments in combined with site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that the PCAF HAT domain mainly forms a dimer in solution through one of the observed interfaces. The results of maltose binding protein (MBP)-pulldown, co-immunoprecipitation and multiangle static light scattering experiments further indicated that PCAF dimeric state is detectable and may possibly exist in vivo.
Conclusions: Taken together, our structural and biochemical studies indicate that PCAF appears to be a dimer in its functional ATAC complex.