cAMP signaling induces rapid loss of histone H3 phosphorylation in mammary adenocarcinoma-derived cell lines

Pedro Rodriguez-Collazo, Sara K. Snyder, Rebecca C. Chiffer, Jordanka Zlatanova, Sanford H. Leuba, Catharine L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The phosphorylation of histone H3 is known to play a role in regulation of transcription as well as preparation of chromosomes for mitosis. Various signaling cascades induce H3 phosphorylation, particularly at genes activated by these pathways. In this study, we show that signaling can also have the opposite effect. Activators of cAMP signaling induce a rapid and potent loss of H3 phosphorylation. This effect is not mediated through a cAMP metabolite since a membrane-permeable form of AMP had no effect on H3 phosphorylation and a phosphodiesterase-resistant cAMP analog efficiently reduced it. cAMP is also the likely regulator of H3 phosphorylation under physiological conditions since only supra-pharmacological doses of cGMP induce the loss of H3 phosphorylation. The loss of phosphorylation is specific for histone H3 since we do not observe drastic losses in total phosphorylation of other histones. In addition, other H3 modifications are unaffected with the exception of lysine 9 methylation, which is elevated. Analysis of cell growth and cell cycle shows that cAMP signaling inhibits cell growth and arrests cells at both G1 and G2/M. Similar effects of cAMP signaling on H3 phosphorylation are observed in a variety of mammary adenocarcinoma-derived cell lines. In syngeneic human breast-derived cell lines, one diploid and non-transformed, the other derived from a ductal carcinoma, the loss of H3 phosphorylation is significantly more sensitive to cAMP concentration in the transformed cell line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Cell cycle
  • Chromatin
  • Histone H3
  • Phosphorylation
  • cAMP signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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