A Histone Deacetylation-Dependent Mechanism for Transcriptional Repression of the Gap Junction Genecx43in Prostate Cancer Cells

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The connexin 43 gene (cx43, GJA1) mediates gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), which regulates tissue homeostasis. cx43 is frequently downregulated in prostate cancer. We investigated the role of a histone deacetylase (HDAC)-dependent mechanism in the transcriptional repression of cx43 in a panel of prostate cancer cells.


The impact of Trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of HDAC, on exogenous and endogenous cx43 gene transcription was examined by the luciferase assay, Northern blot, nuclear run-on, Western blot, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.


Trichostatin A induces transcription of cx43 gene and GJIC. The co-activator p300/CBP synergizes with TSA for cx43 promoter activation. We identified a promoter region where cooperation between Ap1 and Sp1 elements was essential for TSA-induced cx43 transcription. TSA increased the level of hyperacetylated histones bound to cx43 promoter.


Our results highlight the potential utility of inhibitors of HDAC to restore cx43 gene expression in prostate cancer.

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