Regulation of Nur77 protein turnover through acetylation and deacetylation induced by p300 and HDAC1

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Although the roles of Nur77, an orphan member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, in the control of cellular proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation, and glucose metabolism, are well recognized, the molecular mechanism regulating the activity and expression of Nur77 is not fully understood. Acetylation of transcription factors has emerged recently as a major post-translational modification that regulates protein stability and transcriptional activity. Here, we examined whether Nur77 is acetylated, and we characterized potential associated factors. First, Nur77 was found to be an acetylated protein when examined by immunoprecipitation and western blotting using acetyl protein-specific antibodies. Second, expression of p300, which possesses histone acetyltransferase activity, enhanced the acetylation and protein stability of Nur77. Treatment with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, trichostatin A, also increased Nur77 acetylation. Among the several types of HDACs, HDAC1 was found as the major enzyme affecting protein level of Nur77. HDAC1 decreased the acetylation level, protein level, and transcriptional activity of Nur77. Interestingly, overexpression of Nur77 induced expression of both p300 and HDAC1. Finally, the expression of Nur77 increased along with that of p300, but decreased with induction of HDAC1 after treatment with epithelial growth factor, nerve growth factor, or 6-mercaptopurine, suggesting that the self-control of the acetylation status contributes to the transient induction of Nur77 protein. Taken together, these results demonstrate that acetylation of Nur77 is modulated by p300 and HDAC1, and suggest that acetylation is an important post-translational modification for the rapid turnover of Nur77 protein.

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