Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

KLF8 recruits the p300 and PCAF co-activators to its amino terminal activation domain to activate transcription.

PMID 20107328


Krüppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) regulates critical cellular processes including cell cycle progression, transformation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, migration and invasion by either repressing or activating target gene promoters. As a repressor, KLF8 recruits the CtBP co-repressor via its PVDLS repression motif. However, how KLF8 acts as an activator has not been determined. Here we report the identification of both the KLF8 activation domain and associated co-activators. By site-directed mutagenesis and cyclin D1 promoter reporter assays using both mouse fibroblasts and human epithelial cells, we determined that deletion of residues 100-260 or mutation of Q118-Q248 abolished KLF8 transactivity. this transactivity was dramatically reduced in p300(-/-), CBP(-/-) or PCAF(-/-) cells and could be restored by re-expressing p300 or PCAF, but not CBP. Co-immunoprecipitation analyses demonstrated that KLF8 interacted with these co-activators whereas the Q118N-Q248N mutant did not. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments showed that KLF8 promoted histone acetylation at the promoter whereas the Q118N-Q248N mutant had a dramatic loss of this function. Western blotting revealed that unlike wild-type KLF8 the Q118N-Q248N was no longer able to upregulate cyclin D1 protein level. BrdU incorporation assays showed that the Q118N-Q248N mutant also lost the ability to promote DNA synthesis. Taken together, these results identified the KLF8 activation domain located between residues 101-260 where the well-conserved Q118 and Q248 are essential for recruiting p300 and PCAF to activate target gene transcription.