Oncogenic transformation by adenovirus small e1a depends on simultaneous interactions with the host lysine acetylases p300/CBP and the tumor suppressor RB. How these interactions influence cellular gene expression remains unclear. We find that e1a displaces RBs from E2F transcription factors and promotes p300 acetylation of RB1 K873/K874 to lock it into a repressing conformation that interacts with repressive chromatin-modifying enzymes. These repressing p300-e1a-RB1 complexes specifically interact with host genes that have unusually high p300 association within the gene body. The TGF-β, TNF-, and interleukin-signaling pathway components are enriched among such p300-targeted genes. The p300-e1a-RB1 complex condenses chromatin in a manner dependent on HDAC activity, p300 lysine acetylase activity, the p300 bromodomain, and RB K873/K874 and e1a K239 acetylation to repress host genes that would otherwise inhibit productive virus infection. Thus, adenovirus employs e1a to repress host genes that interfere with viral replication.
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