Molecular and cellular biology

Histone ADP-ribosylation facilitates gene transcription by directly remodeling nucleosomes.

PMID 22547677


The packaging of DNA into nucleosomes imposes obstacles on gene transcription, and histone-modifying and nucleosome-remodeling complexes work in concert to alleviate these obstacles so as to facilitate transcription. Emerging evidence shows that chromatin-associated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) and its enzymatic activity facilitate inflammatory gene transcription and modulate the inflammatory response in animal models. However, the molecular mechanisms by which PARP-1 enzymatic activity facilitates transcription are not well understood. Here we show that through an intracellular signaling pathway, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation induces PARP-1 enzymatic activity and the ADP-ribosylation of histones at transcriptionally active and accessible chromatin regions in macrophages. In vitro DNase I footprinting and restriction endonuclease accessibility assays reveal that histone ADP-ribosylation directly destabilizes histone-DNA interactions in the nucleosome and increases the site accessibility of the nucleosomal DNA to nucleases. Consistent with this, LPS stimulation-induced ADP-ribosylation at the nucleosome-occupied promoters of il-1β, mip-2, and csf2 facilitates NF-κB recruitment and the transcription of these genes in macrophages. Therefore, our data suggest that PARP-1 enzymatic activity facilitates gene transcription through increasing promoter accessibility by histone ADP-ribosylation.