P/CAF modulates the activity of the transcription factor p48/Ptf1a involved in pancreatic acinar differentiation

Annie Rodolosse, Maria Luisa Campos, Ilse Rooman, Mathieu Lichtenstein, Francisco X. Real

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    p48, also called Ptf1a (pancreas-specific transcription factor 1a), is a tissue-restricted bHLH (basic helix-loop-helix) transcription factor which is critical for pancreatic commitment during development and for the activation and maintenance of the acinar differentiation programme in the exocrine pancreas. High-level expression of exocrine digestive enzymes, a hallmark of mature acinar cells, depends largely on the trimeric complex PTF1, formed by p48, RBP-L (recombination signal-binding protein 1-like) and a class A bHLH protein. In addition, p48 induces cell-cycle exit by controlling G1/S-phase progression. However, the mechanisms that mediate PTF1-dependent gene activation are poorly understood. In the present study, we report that p48 increases transcription through two activation domains located in its N-terminal region by recruiting transcriptional co-activators. The histone acetyltransferase cofactor p/CAF {p300/CBP [CREB (cAMP-response-element-binding protein)-binding protein]-associated factor} interacts with p48 in acinar cells in vivo and is associated with the promoter region of acinar genes targeted by the PTF1 complex. p/ CAF potentiates PTF1 transcriptional activity by enhancing selectively the p48 transactivation activity. p/CAF promotes the nuclear accumulation of p48 and its in vivo acetylation in Lys200. The K200R mutation abolishes the transcriptional activity of p48, as well as its capacity to functionally co-operate with RBP-L to ensure effective PTF1-driven transcription, indicating that p/CAF-mediated acetylation of p48 is required for the full transcriptional activity of PTF1. In contrast, p/CAF did not co-operate with p48 in its growth regulatory effects. These results support a critical and selective role of p/CAF in PTF1-dependent gene activation during acinar differentiation. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Biochemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)463-473
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


    • Acinar cell
    • Differentiation
    • Histone acetyltransferase (HAT)
    • p48/PTF1a
    • Pancreas
    • Recombination signal-binding protein 1-like (RBP-L)


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