Altered binding of human histone gene transcription factors during the shutdown of proliferation and onset of differentiation in HL-60 cells

G. Stein, J. Lian, J. Stein, R. Briggs, V. Shalhoub, K. Wright, U. Pauli, Andre J van Wijnen

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Two sites of protein-DNA interaction have been identified in vivo and in vitro in the proximal promoter regions of an H4 and an H3 human histone gene. In proliferating cells, these genes are transcribed thoughout the cell cycle, and both the more distal site I and the proximal site II are occupied by promoter-binding factors. In this report we demonstrate that during the shutdown of proliferation and onset of differentiation of the human promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60 into cells that exhibit phenotypic properties of monocytes, histone gene expression is down-regulated at the level of transcription. In vivo occupancy of site I by promoter factors persists in the differentiated HL-60 cells, but protein-DNA interactions at site II are selectively lost. Furthermore, in vitro binding activity of the site II promoter factor HiNF-D is lost in differentiated cells, and nuclear extracts from differentiated cells do not support in vitro transcription of these histone genes. Our results suggest that the interaction of HiNF-D with proximal promoter site II sequences play a primary role in rendering cell growth-regulated histone genes transcribable in proliferating cells. It appears that while cell-cycle control of histone gene expression is mediated by both transcription and mRNA stability, with the shutdown of proliferation and onset of differentiation, histone gene expression is regulated at the transcriptional level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1865-1869
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

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