Knock down of GCN5 histone acetyltransferase by siRNA decreases ethanol-induced histone acetylation and affects differential expression of genes in human hepatoma cells

Mahua Choudhury, Ravi S. Pandey, Dahn L Clemens, Justin Wade Davis, Robert W. Lim, Shivendra D. Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


We have investigated whether Gcn5, a histone acetyltransferase (HAT), is involved in ethanol-induced acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3AcK9) and has any effect on the gene expression. Human hepatoma HepG2 cells transfected withs ethanol-metabolizing enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (VA 13 cells) were used. Knock down of Gcn5 by siRNA silencing decreased mRNA and protein levels of general control nondepressible 5 (GCN5), HAT activity, and also attenuated ethanol-induced H3AcK9 in VA13 cells. Illumina gene microarray analysis using total RNA showed 940 transcripts affected by GCN5 silencing or ethanol. Silencing caused differential expression of 891 transcripts (≥1.5-fold upregulated or downregulated). Among these, 492 transcripts were upregulated and 399 were downregulated compared with their respective controls. Using a more stringent threshold (≥2.5-fold), the array data from GCN5-silenced samples showed 57 genes differentially expressed (39 upregulated and 18 downregulated). Likewise, ethanol caused differential regulation of 57 transcripts with ≥1.5-fold change (35 gene upregulated and 22 downregulated). Further analysis showed that eight genes were differentially regulated that were common for both ethanol treatment and GCN5 silencing. Among these, SLC44A2 (a putative choline transporter) was strikingly upregulated by ethanol (three fold), and GCN5 silencing downregulated it (1.5-fold). The quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction profile corroborated the array findings. This report demonstrates for the first time that (1) GCN5 differentially affects expression of multiple genes, (2) ethanol-induced histone H3-lysine 9 acetylation is mediated via GCN5, and (3) GCN5 is involved in ethanol-induced expression of the putative choline transporter SLC44A2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011



  • Epigenetics
  • Ethanol
  • GCN5
  • Histone acetylation
  • Histone acetyltransferase
  • Human hepatoma cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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