Histone deacetylases (HDAC) form a conserved enzyme family that control gene expression via the removal of acetyl residues from histones and other proteins and are under increasing investigation as therapeutic targets, notably in cancer and parasitic diseases. To investigate the conservation of these enzymes in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, we cloned and characterized three class I HDACs, orthologues of mammalian HDAC1, 3 and 8, and confirmed their identities by phylogenetic analysis. The identification of an HDAC8 orthologue showed that it is not vertebrate-specific as previously thought and insertions in its catalytic domain suggest specific enzymatic properties. SmHDAC1, 3, and 8 mRNAs are expressed at all schistosome life-cycle stages. SmHDAC1 repressed transcriptional activity in a mammalian cell line and this activity was dependent on its catalytic activity since transcription was partially restored by treatment with trichostatin A and a catalytic site mutant failed to repress transcription.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During development from the fertilized egg to a multicellular organism, cell fate decisions have to be taken and cell lineage or tissue-specific gene expression patterns are created and maintained. These alterations in gene expression occur in the context of chromatin structure and are controlled by chromatin modifying enzymes. Gene disruption studies in different genetic systems have shown an essential role of various histone deacetylases (HDACs) during early development and cellular differentiation. In this review, we focus on the functions of the class I enzymes HDAC1 and HDAC2 during development in different organisms and summarise the current knowledge about their involvement in neurogenesis, myogenesis, haematopoiesis and epithelial cell differentiation.
The International journal of developmental biology 02/2009; 53(2-3):275-89. DOI:10.1387/ijdb.082649rb · 1.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to explore the conservation/divergence of transcriptional regulation in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, we are studying the structures and functions of transcriptional mediators and in particular histone-modifying enzymes. Reversible histone acetylation changes chromatin structure and modulates gene transcription. The removal of acetyl residues from histones and other proteins is catalyzed by histone deacetylases (HDACs) that are under increasing study as therapeutic targets, both in cancer and parasitic diseases. In order to determine the extent and importance of histone acetylation in S. mansoni, we tested the effects of three histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) on both larval and adult worms in culture. Trichostatin A (TSA), valproic acid (VPA) and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) inhibited global HDAC activity at all life-cycle stages. TSA and VPA, but not SAHA, caused mortality of schistosomula and adults, with TSA showing the most rapid effect. Moreover, TSA caused an increase in apoptosis in schistosomula shown by the TUNEL assay and an increase in caspase 3/7 activity. Both TSA and VPA were shown to cause an increase in general levels of protein acetylation in schistosomes; more particularly of histone 4 whereas histone 3 acetylation was less affected. In the case of TSA treatment this histone hyperacetylation was correlated with the increased expression of caspases 3 and 7 transcripts. Finally, quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that the proximal promoter region of the S. mansoni caspase 7 gene was hyperacetylated on histone H4 after TSA treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The life-cycle of the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni is characterized by marked morphological changes between the various stages that are the result of a complex developmental program. In order to study the role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating this program, and more particularly the role of changes in histone modifications in the control of the transcription of key genes, we have adapted the technique of quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (Q-ChIP) to larval stages and adult worms. We have used the classical method involving formaldehyde-induced cross-linking of DNA-associated proteins, followed by ultrasonication to fragment the DNA before immunoprecipitation and have established a protocol for use with schistosomes. We show, using antibodies directed against acetylated histone H4, that the technique is applicable to the parasite and allows the quantification and comparison of the levels of modified histone at gene promoters at different life-cycle stages.
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