Monocyte polarization: The relationship of genome-wide changes in H4 acetylation with polarization

Center for Bioinformatics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Genes and immunity (Impact Factor: 2.91). 03/2011; 12(6):445-56. DOI: 10.1038/gene.2011.17
Source: PubMed


The character of monocytes is both molded by and contributes to ongoing immune responses. We hypothesized that monocyte polarization could have durable qualities and these would be mediated partly by changes in the chromatin. We defined genome-wide expression and histone H4 acetylation (H4ac) changes after γ-interferon (IFN), α-IFN and interleukin-4 treatment. To identify genes with altered potential for expression, we stimulated polarized monocytes and identified genes up- or downregulated after polarization and stimulation but not either treatment alone. We also defined durability after an 18-h or 3-day washout. Genes uniquely regulated after the combination of polarization and stimulus were durably altered, with 51% of the effects being durable. This gene set was highly enriched for cytokine-induced alterations in H4ac, with P-values ranging from 10(-24) to 10(-37). Certain regulons defined by patterns of expression were also associated with altered H4ac, with P-values ranging from 10(-4) to 10(-29). Networking software revealed a high density of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase nodes in these clusters. Therefore, some changes in monocyte gene expression were sustained over a 3-day period. These durably altered gene sets were enriched for changes in H4ac and were associated with potential MAP kinase effects.

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