Differential contribution of p300 and CBP to regulatory element acetylation in mESCs

Sara Martire, Jennifer Nguyen, Aishwarya Sundaresan, Laura A. Banaszynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: The transcription coactivators CREB binding protein (CBP) and p300 are highly homologous acetyltransferases that mediate histone 3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac) at regulatory elements such as enhancers and promoters. Although in most cases, CBP and p300 are considered to be functionally identical, both proteins are indispensable for development and there is evidence of tissue-specific nonredundancy. However, characterization of chromatin and transcription states regulated by each protein is lacking. Results: In this study we analyze the individual contribution of p300 and CBP to the H3K27ac landscape, chromatin accessibility, and transcription in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC). We demonstrate that p300 is the predominant H3K27 acetyltransferase in mESCs and that loss of acetylation in p300KD mESCs is more pronounced at enhancers compared to promoters. While loss of either CBP or p300 has little effect on the open state of chromatin, we observe that distinct gene sets are transcriptionally dysregulated upon depletion of p300 or CBP. Transcriptional dysregulation is generally correlated with dysregulation of promoter acetylation upon depletion of p300 (but not CBP) and appears to be relatively independent of dysregulated enhancer acetylation. Interestingly, both our transcriptional and genomic analyses demonstrate that targets of the p53 pathway are stabilized upon depletion of p300, suggesting an unappreciated view of the relationship between p300 and p53 in mESCs. Conclusions: This genomic study sheds light on distinct functions of two important transcriptional regulators in the context of a developmentally relevant cell type. Given the links to both developmental disorders and cancer, we believe that our study may promote new ways of thinking about how these proteins function in settings that lead to disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number55
JournalBMC Molecular and Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2020


  • Acetyltransferase
  • Chromatin
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Enhancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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