Journal of molecular biology

The PHD finger of p300 influences its ability to acetylate histone and non-histone targets.

PMID 25158095


In enzymes that regulate chromatin structure, the combinatorial occurrence of modules that alter and recognise histone modifications is a recurrent feature. In this study, we explored the functional relationship between the acetyltransferase domain and the adjacent bromodomain/PHD finger (bromo/PHD) region of the transcriptional coactivator p300. We found that the bromo/PHD region of p300 can bind to the acetylated catalytic domain in vitro and augment the catalytic activity of the enzyme. Deletion of the PHD finger, but not the bromodomain, impaired the ability of the enzyme to acetylate histones in vivo, whilst it enhanced p300 self-acetylation. A point mutation in the p300 PHD finger that is related to the Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome resulted in increased self-acetylation but retained the ability to acetylate histones. Hence, the PHD finger appears to negatively regulate self-acetylation. Furthermore, our data suggest that the PHD finger has a role in the recruitment of p300 to chromatin.