Research Papers:

GCN5 inhibits XBP-1S-mediated transcription by antagonizing PCAF action

Qiao Jing Lew, Kai Ling Chu, Yi Ling Chia, Benjamin Soo, Jia Pei Ho, Chew Har Ng, Hui Si Kwok, Cheng-Ming Chiang, Yao Chang and Sheng-Hao Chao _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:271-287. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2773

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Qiao Jing Lew1,*, Kai Ling Chu1,*, Yi Ling Chia1, Benjamin Soo1, Jia Pei Ho1, Chew Har Ng1, Hui Si Kwok1, Cheng-Ming Chiang2, Yao Chang3 and Sheng-Hao Chao1,4

1 Expression Engineering Group, Bioprocessing Technology Institute, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

2 Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX, USA

3 National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan, Taiwan

4 Department of Microbiology, National University of Singapore, Singapore

* These authors contributed equally to this work


Sheng-Hao Chao, email:

Keywords: XBP-1S, UPR, GCN5, PCAF, EBV LMP1

Received: October 06, 2014 Accepted: November 15, 2014 Published: November 16, 2014


Cellular unfolded protein response (UPR) is induced when endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is under stress. XBP-1S, the active isoform of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP-1), is a key regulator of UPR. Previously, we showed that a histone acetyltransferase (HAT), p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), binds to XBP-1S and functions as an activator of XBP-1S. Here, we identify general control nonderepressible 5 (GCN5), a HAT with 73% identity to PCAF, as a novel XBP-1S regulator. Both PCAF and GCN5 bind to the same domain of XBP-1S. Surprisingly, GCN5 potently blocks the XBP-1S-mediated transcription, including cellular UPR genes and latent membrane protein 1 of Epstein-Barr virus. Unlike PCAF, GCN5 acetylates XBP-1S and enhances nuclear retention and protein stability of XBP-1S. However, such GCN5-mediated acetylation of XBP-1S shows no effects on XBP-1S activity. In addition, the HAT activity of GCN5 is not required for repression of XBP-1S target genes. We further demonstrate that GCN5 inhibits XBP-1S-mediated transcription by disrupting the PCAF-XBP-1S interaction and preventing the recruitment of XBP-1S to its target genes. Taken together, our results represent the first work demonstrating that GCN5 and PCAF exhibit different functions and antagonistically regulate the XBP-1S-mediated transcription.

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