Reference: McCullough SD and Grant PA (2010) Histone Acetylation, Acetyltransferases, and Ataxia-Alteration of Histone Acetylation and Chromatin Dynamics is Implicated in the Pathogenesis of Polyglutamine-Expansion Disorders. Adv Protein Chem Struct Biol 79C:165-203

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Abstract

Eukaryotic chromosomal DNA is packaged into nucleosomes to form a dynamic structure known as chromatin. The compaction of DNA within chromatin poses a unique hindrance with regards to the accessibility of the DNA to enzymes involved in replication, transcriptional regulation, and repair. The physical structure and physiological activity of chromatin are regulated through a diverse set of posttranslational modifications, histone exchange, and structural remodeling. Of the covalent chromatin modifications, the acetylation of lysine residues within histone proteins by acetyltransferase enzymes, such as GCN5, is one of the most prevalent and important steps in the regulation of chromatin function. Alteration of histone acetyltransferase activity can easily result in the dysregulation of gene transcription and ultimately the onset of a disease state. Many transcription factors contain polyglutamine regions within their primary sequence. Mutations resulting in the elongation of these polyglutamine tracts are associated with a disease family known as the polyglutamine expansion disorders. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is one of the nine diseases that are grouped in this family and is caused by polyglutamine expansion of the ataxin-7 protein, which is a component of the GCN5-containing human SAGA histone acetyltransferase complex. Mutation of ataxin-7 in this manner has been shown to disrupt the structural integrity of the SAGA complex and result in aberrant chromatin acetylation patterns at the promoters of genes involved in the normal function of tissues that are affected by the disease. The specific aspects of molecular pathology are not currently understood; however, studies carried out in laboratory systems ranging from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to transgenic mouse models and cultured human cells are poised to allow for the elucidation of disease mechanisms and subsequent therapeutic approaches.CI - Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Journal Article
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McCullough SD, Grant PA
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