HDAC3 as a molecular chaperone for shuttling phosphorylated TR2 to PML: A novel deacetylase activity-independent function of HDAC3

Pawan Gupta, Ping Chih Ho, Sung Gil Ha, Yi Wei Lin, Li Na Wei

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16 Scopus citations


TR2 is an orphan nuclear receptor specifically expressed in early embryos (Wei and Hsu, 1994), and a transcription factor for transcriptional regulation of important genes in stem cells including the gate keeper Oct4 (Park et al. 2007). TR2 is known to function as an activator (Wei et al. 2000), or a repressor (Chinpaisal et al., 1998, Gupta et al. 2007). Due to the lack of specific ligands, mechanisms triggering its activator or repressor function have remained puzzling for decades. Recently, we found that all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) triggers the activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2), which phosphorylates TR2 and stimulates its partitioning to promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies, thereby converting the activator function of TR2 into repression (Gupta et al. 2008; Park et al. 2007). Recruitment of TR2 to PML is a crucial step in the conversion of TR2 from an activator to a repressor. However, it is unclear how phosphorylated TR2 is recruited to PML, an essential step in converting TR2 from an activator to a repressor. In the present study, we use both in vitro and in vivo systems to address the problem of recruiting TR2 to PML nuclear bodies. First, we identify histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) as an effector molecule. HDAC3 is known to interact with TR2 (Franco et al. 2001) and this interaction is enhanced by the atRA-stimulated phosphorylation of TR2 at Thr-210 (Gupta et al. 2008). Secondly, in this study, we also find that the carrier function of HDAC3 is independent of its deacetylase activity. Thirdly, we find another novel activity of atRA that stimulates nuclear enrichment of HDAC3 to form nuclear complex with PML, which is ERK2 independent. This is the first report identifying a deacetylase-independent function for HDAC3, which serves as a specific carrier molecule that targets a specifically phosphorylated protein to PML NBs. This is also the first study delineating how protein recruitment to PML nuclear bodies occurs, which can be stimulated by atRA in an ERK2-independent manner. These findings could provide new insights into the development of potential therapeutics and in understanding how orphan nuclear receptor activities can be regulated without ligands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4363
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2009


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