Ioxynil and tetrabromobisphenol A suppress thyroid-hormone-induced activation of transcriptional elongation mediated by histone modifications and RNA polymerase II phosphorylation.
Amphibian metamorphosis is marked by dramatic, thyroid hormone (TH)-induced changes involving gene regulation by TH receptor (TR). It has been postulated that TR-mediated gene regulation involves chromatin remodeling. In the absence of ligand, TR can repress gene expression by recruiting a histone deacetylase complex, whereas liganded TR recruits a histone acetylase complex for gene activation. Earlier studies have led us to propose a dual function model for TR during development. In premetamorphic tadpoles, unliganded TR represses transcription involving histone deacetylation. During metamorphosis, endogenous TH allows TR to activate gene expression through histone acetylation. Here using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we directly demonstrate TR binding to TH response genes constitutively in vivo in premetamorphic tadpoles. We further show that TH treatment leads to histone deacetylase release from TH response gene promoters. Interestingly, in whole animals, changes in histone acetylation show little correlation with the expression of TH response genes. On the other hand, in the intestine and tail, where TH response genes are known to be up-regulated more dramatically by TH than in most other organs, we demonstrate that TH treatment induces gene activation and histone H4 acetylation. These data argue for a role of histone acetylation in transcriptional regulation by TRs during amphibian development in some tissues, whereas in others changes in histone acetylation levels may play no or only a minor role, supporting the existence of important alternative mechanisms in gene regulation by TR.