Activation of tachykinin, neurokinin 3 receptors affects chromatin structure and gene expression by means of histone acetylation

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Abstract

The tachykinin, neurokinin 3 receptor (NK3R) is a g-protein coupled receptor that is broadly distributed in the nervous system and exerts its diverse physiological actions through multiple signaling pathways. Despite the role of the receptor system in a range of biological functions, the effects of NK3R activation on chromatin dynamics and gene expression have received limited attention. The present work determined the effects of senktide, a selective NK3R agonist, on chromatin organization, acetylation, and gene expression, using qRT-PCR, in a hypothalamic cell line (CLU 209) that expresses the NK3R. Senktide (1 nM, 10 nM) caused a relaxation of chromatin, an increase in global acetylation of histone H3 and H4, and an increase in the expression of a common set of genes involved in cell signaling, cell growth, and synaptic plasticity. Pretreatment with histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitor (garcinol and 2-methylene y-butylactone), that inhibits p300, p300/CREB binding protein (CBP) associated factor (PCAF), and GCN 5, prevented the senktide-induced increase in expression of most, but not all, of the genes upregulated in response to 1 nM and 10 nM senktide. Treatment with 100 nM had the opposite effect: a reduction in chromatin relaxation and decreased acetylation. The expression of four genes was significantly decreased and the HAT inhibitor had a limited effect in blocking the upregulation of genes in response to 100 nM senktide. Activation of the NK3R appears to recruit multiple pathways, including acetylation, and possibly histone deactylases, histone methylases, or DNA methylases to affect chromatin structure and gene expression.

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