2015 journal article

Coordinated regulation of Nrf2 and histone H3 serine 10 phosphorylation in arsenite-activated transcription of the human heme oxygenase-1 gene


author keywords: Nrf2; Histone; Epigenetic; Arsenic; HO-1; Antioxidant response element
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 6, 2018

Expression of the antioxidant gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is primarily induced through NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-mediated activation of the antioxidant response element (ARE). Gene transcription is coordinately regulated by transcription factor activity at enhancer elements and epigenetic alterations such as the posttranslational modification of histone proteins. However, the role of histone modifications in the Nrf2-ARE axis remains largely uncharacterized. The environmental contaminant arsenite is a potent inducer of both HO-1 expression and phosphorylation of histone H3 serine 10 (H3S10); therefore, we investigated the relationships between Nrf2 and H3S10 phosphorylation in arsenite-induced, ARE-dependent, transcriptional activation of the human HO-1 gene. Arsenite increased phosphorylation of H3S10 both globally and at the HO-1 promoter concomitantly with HO-1 transcription in human HaCaT keratinocytes. Conversely, arsenite-induced H3S10 phosphorylation and HO-1 expression were blocked by N-acetylcysteine (NAC), the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125, and JNK knockdown (siJNK). Interestingly, ablation of arsenite-induced H3S10 phosphorylation by SP600125 or siJNK did not inhibit Nrf2 nuclear accumulation nor ARE binding, despite inhibiting HO-1 expression. In response to arsenite, binding of Nrf2 to the HO-1 ARE preceded phosphorylation of H3S10 at the HO-1 ARE. Furthermore, arsenite-mediated occupancy of phosphorylated H3S10 at the HO-1 ARE was decreased in Nrf2-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts. These results suggest the involvement of H3S10 phosphorylation in the Nrf2-ARE axis by proposing that Nrf2 may influence H3S10 phosphorylation at the HO-1 ARE and additional promoter regions. Our data highlights the complex interplay between Nrf2 and H3S10 phosphorylation in arsenite-activated HO-1 transcription.