Alleviating transcriptional inhibition of the norepinephrine Slc6a2 transporter gene in depolarized neurons

Kaipananickal N Harikrishnan, Richard Bayles, Giuseppe D. Ciccotosto, Scott Maxwell, Roberto Cappai, Gregory J Pelka, Patrick P L Tam, John Christodoulou, Assam El-Osta

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have brought to light additional experimental information, namely, that the MeCP2 protein complex is not only capable of associating with members of the ATPase-dependent bromodomain family, but also found on nonmethylated genomic sequences. These unexpected results are indicative of a multifunctional role for MeCP2, more importantly; our view of the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene activity may not be necessarily distinguishable. Depolarized mouse neuronal cortical cells were examined for increased Slc6a2 mRNA synthesis, changes in CpG methylation status using bisulfite sequencing, and binding of MeCP2 and Smarca2 on the Slc6a2 promoter sequence by chromatin immunopurification strategies. Increased Slc6a2 gene expression in response to membrane depolarization was strongly correlated with the dissociation of MeCP2 and Smarca2 complex on the unmethylated gene. We identified that gene expression in neuronal cortical cells involves increased histone hyperacetylation on the Slc6a2 promoter, which is commensurate with the recruitment of SP1 and RNA Polymerase II and is inversely correlated with H3K9 trimethylation. We hypothesize that the MeCP2 corepressor is capable of associating with multiple forms of SWI/SNF to remodel chromatin for important regulatory roles. The results of our experiments indicate that these proteins are asymmetrically bound to chromatin independent of DNA methylation and not inevitably diametrically opposed. These results now begin to offer a new perspective on the mechanism of Slc6a2 gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1494-1501
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

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