Potent stimulation of gene expression by histone deacetylase inhibitors on transiently transfected DNA

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Transcription activity of chromatin is associated with histone acetylation which is regulated by recruitment of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases (HDAC) to specific chromatin regions. We have tested how expression of a transfected or stably introduced gene correlates with histone acetylation. Our results demonstrate that expression of transiently transfected green fluorescence protein (GFP) genes is significantly enhanced by HDAC inhibitors. Although HDAC treatment did not induce noticeable changes in the chromatin structure of genomic DNA, chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that more transiently transfected DNA is assembled into chromatin containing acetylated histones in HDAC inhibitor treated cells when compared to untreated cells. For stably integrated GFP, the expression response to HDAC inhibitors varies between independent stable cell lines. However, there was no difference in histone acetylation associated with the integrated transgene between HDAC inhibitor responsive and non-responsive cells. Furthermore, the overall enhancement of transgene expression by HDAC inhibitors was not as pronounced as in transiently transfected cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Acetylation Animals CHO Cells Cricetinae DNA/chemistry/*metabolism Enzyme Inhibitors/metabolism *Gene Expression Regulation Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics/metabolism Histone Deacetylases/*antagonists & inhibitors/metabolism Hydroxamic Acids/metabolism Nucleic Acid Conformation Transcription, Genetic *Transfection Transgenes


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