Orderly progression through the cell cycle requires the transcriptional activation of histone genes to support packaging of newly replicated DNA. Induction of human histone gene expression is mediated by a co-activation complex containing transcription factor HiNF-P and its cofactor p220 NPAT. Here, using cells synchronized in S-phase and in mitosis, as well as serum-stimulated cells, we have investigated how HiNF-P is regulated during the cell cycle and examined its stability relative to p220 NPAT. We find that while HiNF-P is maintained at steady-state levels throughout the cell cycle, both HiNF-P and p220NPAT are actively degraded by the proteasome pathway. Importantly, elevation of HiNF-P levels enhances the stability of its co-activator p220NPAT. The HiNF-P-dependent stabilization of p220NPAT may reinforce signaling through the cyclin E/CDK2/p220NPAT pathway and contribute to coordinate control of histone gene expression.
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