Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 611–628

The metazoan ATAC and SAGA coactivator HAT complexes regulate different sets of inducible target genes

  • Zita Nagy
  • Anne Riss
  • Sally Fujiyama
  • Arnaud Krebs
  • Meritxell Orpinell
  • Pascal Jansen
  • Adrian Cohen
  • Henk G. Stunnenberg
  • Shigeaki Kato
  • Làszlò Tora
Research Article


Histone acetyl transferases (HATs) play a crucial role in eukaryotes by regulating chromatin architecture and locus-specific transcription. The GCN5 HAT was identified as a subunit of the SAGA (Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase) multiprotein complex. Vertebrate cells express a second HAT, PCAF, that is 73% identical to GCN5. Here, we report the characterization of the mammalian ATAC (Ada-Two-A-Containing) complexes containing either GCN5 or PCAF in a mutually exclusive manner. In vitro ATAC complexes acetylate lysine 14 of histone H3. Moreover, ATAC- or SAGA-specific knock-down experiments suggest that both ATAC and SAGA are involved in the acetylation of histone H3K9 and K14 residues. Despite their catalytic similarities, SAGA and ATAC execute their coactivator functions on distinct sets of inducible target genes. Interestingly, ATAC strongly influences the global phosphorylation level of histone H3S10, suggesting that in mammalian cells a cross-talk exists linking ATAC function to H3S10 phosphorylation.


ADA2a GCN5 ATAC2 Histone acetyltransferase Immediate early gene PCAF H3S10P 

Supplementary material

18_2009_199_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.4 mb)
Suppl Figures (DOC 2434 kb)


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zita Nagy
    • 1
  • Anne Riss
    • 1
  • Sally Fujiyama
    • 2
  • Arnaud Krebs
    • 1
  • Meritxell Orpinell
    • 1
  • Pascal Jansen
    • 3
  • Adrian Cohen
    • 3
  • Henk G. Stunnenberg
    • 3
  • Shigeaki Kato
    • 2
  • Làszlò Tora
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Functional Genomics, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC)CNRS UMR 7104, INSERM U 964, Université de StrasbourgIllkirch Cedex, CU de StrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Molecular and Cellular BiosciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Molecular BiologyNCMLS 274, Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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