The molting during Drosophila development is tightly regulated by the ecdysone hormone. Several steps of the ecdysone biosynthesis have been already identified but the regulation of the entire process has not been clarified yet. We have previously reported that dATAC histone acetyltransferase complex is necessary for the steroid hormone biosynthesis process. To reveal possible mechanisms controlled by dATAC we made assumptions that either dATAC may influence directly the transcription of Halloween genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis or it may exert an indirect effect on it by acetylating the Ftz-F1 transcription factor which regulates the transcription of steroid converting genes. Here we show that the lack of dATAC complex results in increased mRNA level and decreased protein level of Ftz-F1. In this context, decreased mRNA and increased protein levels of Ftz-F1 were detected upon treatment of Drosophila S2 cells with histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. We showed that Ftz-F1, the transcriptional activator of Halloween genes, is acetylated in S2 cells. In addition, we found that ecdysone biosynthetic Halloween genes are transcribed in S2 cells and their expression can be influenced by deacetylase inhibitors. Furthermore, we could detect H4K5 acetylation at the regulatory regions of disembodied and shade Halloween genes, while H3K9 acetylation is absent on these genes. Based on our findings we conclude that the dATAC HAT complex might play a dual regulatory role in Drosophila steroid hormone biosynthesis through the acetylation of Ftz-F1 protein and the regulation of the H4K5 acetylation at the promoters of Halloween genes.
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