DEK is a mammalian protein that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia, melanoma, glioblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and bladder cancer. In addition, DEK appears to participate in multiple cellular processes, including transcriptional repression, mRNA processing, and chromatin remodeling. Sub-nuclear distribution of this protein, with the attendant functional ramifications, has remained a controversial topic. Here we report that DEK undergoes acetylation in vivo at lysine residues within the first 70 N-terminal amino acids. Acetylation of DEK decreases its affinity for DNA elements within the promoter, which is consistent with the involvement of DEK in transcriptional repression. Furthermore, deacetylase inhibition results in accumulation of DEK within interchromatin granule clusters (IGCs), sub-nuclear structures that contain RNA processing factors. Overexpression of P/CAF acetylase drives DEK into IGCs, and addition of a newly developed, synthetic, cell-permeable P/CAF inhibitor blocks this movement. To our knowledge, this is the first reported example of acetylation playing a direct role in relocation of a protein to IGCs, and this may explain how DEK can function in multiple pathways that take place in distinct sub-nuclear compartments. These findings also suggest that DEK-associated malignancies and autoimmune diseases might be amenable to treatment with agents that alter acetylation.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M500884200
View details for Web of Science ID 000231665200054
View details for PubMedID 15987677