Nuclear pyruvate kinase M2 complex serves as a transcriptional coactivator of arylhydrocarbon receptor

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Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) regulate production of acetyl-CoA, which functions as an acetyl donor in diverse enzymatic reactions, including histone acetylation. However, the mechanism by which the acetyl-CoA required for histone acetylation is ensured in a gene context-dependent manner is not clear. Here we show that PKM2, the E2 subunit of PDC and histone acetyltransferase p300 constitute a complex on chromatin with arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a transcription factor associated with xenobiotic metabolism. All of these factors are recruited to the enhancer of AhR-target genes, in an AhR-dependent manner. PKM2 contributes to enhancement of transcription of cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1), an AhR-target gene, acetylation at lysine 9 of histone H3 at the CYP1A1 enhancer. Site-directed mutagenesis of PKM2 indicates that this enhancement of histone acetylation requires the pyruvate kinase activity of the enzyme. Furthermore, we reveal that PDC activity is present in nuclei. Based on these findings, we propose a local acetyl-CoA production system in which PKM2 and PDC locally supply acetyl-CoA to p300 from abundant PEP for histone acetylation at the gene enhancer, and our data suggest that PKM2 sensitizes AhR-mediated detoxification in actively proliferating cells such as cancer and fetal cells.


  • Nucleic Acids Res

    Nucleic Acids Res 44(2), 636-647, 2015-09-23

    Oxford University Press (OUP)


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