Histone deacetylase inhibitor activates the WAF1/Cip1 gene promoter through the Sp1 sites

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Dec 8;241(1):142-50. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1997.7786.


Treatment of cultured cells with trichostatin A (TSA), a specific histone deacetylase inhibitor, induces the histone hyperacetylation and modulates expression of some mammalian genes. We examined the effects of TSA on cell growth arrest, and its relation to expression of the WAF1/Cip1 gene, a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases, in a p53-mutated human osteosarcoma cell line MG63. TSA at 500 ng/ml induced growth arrest at both G1 and G2/M phases, and the expressions of the WAF1/Cip1 mRNA and protein. We also examined the changes of acetylated isoforms of histone H4. Dose-response and kinetic analysis suggest a close correlation between the level of histone acetylation and the induction of the WAF1/Cip1 expressions. Using several mutant WAF1/Cip1 promoter fragments, we found that the TSA responsive elements are two Sp1 sites at -82 and -69 relative to the transcription start site. These findings indicate that TSA induces the WAF1/Cip1 promoter through the typical Sp1 sites, in a p53-independent fashion. Furthermore, the Sp1-luc plasmid, containing SV40 promoter-derived three consensus Sp1 binding sites, was markedly activated by TSA, compared to the mutant Sp1-luc plasmid. These results demonstrate that transcriptional activation through the Sp1 sites of the WAF1/Cip1 promoter by TSA coincides with induced hyperacetylation of histone H4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins / biosynthesis*
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Luciferases / biosynthesis
  • Mammals
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / drug effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • TATA Box
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • trichostatin A
  • Luciferases