BACKGROUND: Recent genome-wide studies have shown that approximately 30% of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cases harbor mutations in the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) coactivators p300 or CBP. The majority of these mutations reduce or eliminate the catalytic HAT activity. We previously demonstrated that the human DLBCL cell line RC-K8 expresses a C-terminally truncated, HAT-defective p300 protein (p300ΔC-1087), whose expression is essential for cell proliferation.<br /><br />METHODS: Using results from large-scale DLBCL studies, we have identified and characterized a second C-terminally truncated, HAT-defective p300 mutant, p300ΔC-820, expressed in the SUDHL2 DLBCL cell line. Properties of p300ΔC-820 were characterized in the SUDHL2 DLBCL cell line by Western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, and shRNA gene knockdown, as well by using cDNA expression vectors for p300ΔC-820 in pull-down assays, transcriptional reporter assays, and immunofluorescence experiments. A mass spectrometry-based method was used to compare the histone acetylation profile of DLBCL cell lines expressing various levels of wild-type p300.<br /><br />RESULTS: We show that the SUDHL2 cell line expresses a C-terminally truncated, HAT-defective form of p300 (p300ΔC-820), but no wild-type p300. The p300ΔC-820 protein has a wild-type ability to localize to subnuclear "speckles," but has a reduced ability to enhance transactivation by transcription factor REL. Knockdown of p300ΔC-820 in SUDHL2 cells reduced their proliferation and soft agar colony-forming ability. In RC-K8 cells, knockdown of p300ΔC-1087 resulted in increased expression of mRNA and protein for REL target genes A20 and IκBα, two genes that have been shown to limit the growth of RC-K8 cells when overexpressed. Among a panel of B-lymphoma cell lines, low-level expression of full-length p300 protein, which is characteristic of the SUDHL2 and RC-K8 cells, was associated with decreased acetylation of histone H3 at lysines 14 and 18.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of p300 mutations in DLBCL suggests that HAT-deficient p300 activity defines a subtype of DLBCL, which we have investigated using human DLBCL cell lines RC-K8 and SUDHL2. Our results suggest that truncated p300 proteins contribute to DLBCL cell growth by affecting the expression of specific genes, perhaps through a mechanism that involves alterations in global histone acetylation.
Haery, L., Lugo-Picó, J. G., Henry, R. A., Andrews, A. J., & Gilmore, T. D. (2014). Histone acetyltransferase-deficient p300 mutants in diffuse large B cell lymphoma have altered transcriptional regulatory activities and are required for optimal cell growth. Molecular Cancer, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-4598-13-29