ASC-2, a multifunctional coactivator, forms a steady-state complex, named ASCOM (for ASC-2 COMplex), that contains the histone H3-lysine-4 (H3K4)-methyltransferase MLL3 or its paralogue MLL4. Somewhat surprisingly, given prior indications of redundancy between MLL3 and MLL4, targeted inactivation of the MLL3 H3K4-methylation activity in mice is found to result in ureter epithelial tumors. Interestingly, this phenotype is exacerbated in a p53+/- background and the tumorigenic cells are heavily immunostained for γH2AX, indicating a contribution of MLL3 to the DNA damage response pathway through p53. Consistent with the in vivo observations, and the demonstration of a direct interaction between p53 and ASCOM, cell-based assays have revealed that ASCOM, through ASC-2 and MLL3/4, acts as a p53 coactivator and is required for H3K4-trimethyation and expression of endogenous p53-target genes in response to the DNA damaging agent doxorubicin. In support of redundant functions for MLL3 and MLL4 for some events, siRNA-mediated down-regulation of both MLL3 and MLL4 is required to suppress doxorubicin-inducible expression of several p53-target genes. Importantly, this study identifies a specific H3K4 methytransferase complex, ASCOM, as a physiologically relevant coactivator for p53 and implicates ASCOM in the p53 tumor suppression pathway in vivo.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - May 26 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas