The histone variant mH2A1.1 interferes with transcription by down-regulating PARP-1 enzymatic activity

Khalid Ouararhni, Réda Hadj-Slimane, Slimane Ait-Si-Ali, Philippe Robin, Flore Mietton, Annick Harel-Bellan, Stefan Dimitrov, Ali Hamiche

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122 Citations (Scopus)


The histone variant mH2A is believed to be involved in transcriptional repression, but how it exerts its function remains elusive. By using chromatin immunoprecipitation and tandem affinity immunopurification of the mH2A1.1 nucleosome complex, we identified numerous genes with promoters containing mH2A1.1 nucleosomes. In particular, the promoters of the inducible Hsp70.1 and Hsp70.2 genes, but not that of the constitutively expressed Hsp70.8, were highly enriched in mH2A1.1. PARP-1 was identified as a part of the mH2A1.1 nucleosome complex and was found to be associated with the Hsp70.1 promoter. A specific interaction between mH2A1.1 and PARP-1 was demonstrated and found to be associated with inactivation of PARP-1 enzymatic activity. Heat shock released both mH2A1.1 and PARP-1 from the Hsp70.1 promoter and activated PARP-1 automodification activity. The data we present point to a novel mechanism for control of Hsp70.1 gene transcription. mH2A1.1 recruits PARP-1 to the promoter, thereby inactivating it. Upon heat shock, the Hsp70.1 promoter-bound PARP-1 is released to activate transcription through ADP-ribosylation of other Hsp70.1 promoter-bound proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3324-3336
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • ADP-ribosylation
  • Histone variant
  • mH2A
  • PARP-1
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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