GCN5 inhibits XBP-1S-mediated transcription by antagonizing PCAF action.

PMID 25426559


Cellular unfolded protein response (UPR) is induced when endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is under stress. XBP-1S, the active isoform of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP-1), is a key regulator of UPR. Previously, we showed that a histone acetyltransferase (HAT), p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), binds to XBP-1S and functions as an activator of XBP-1S. Here, we identify general control nonderepressible 5 (GCN5), a HAT with 73% identity to PCAF, as a novel XBP-1S regulator. Both PCAF and GCN5 bind to the same domain of XBP-1S. Surprisingly, GCN5 potently blocks the XBP-1S-mediated transcription, including cellular UPR genes and latent membrane protein 1 of Epstein-Barr virus. Unlike PCAF, GCN5 acetylates XBP-1S and enhances nuclear retention and protein stability of XBP-1S. However, such GCN5-mediated acetylation of XBP-1S shows no effects on XBP-1S activity. In addition, the HAT activity of GCN5 is not required for repression of XBP-1S target genes. We further demonstrate that GCN5 inhibits XBP-1S-mediated transcription by disrupting the PCAF-XBP-1S interaction and preventing the recruitment of XBP-1S to its target genes. Taken together, our results represent the first work demonstrating that GCN5 and PCAF exhibit different functions and antagonistically regulate the XBP-1S-mediated transcription.