E2A and CBP/p300 Act in Synergy To Promote Chromatin Accessibility of the Immunoglobulin κ Locus
V(D)J recombination of Ig and TCR genes is strictly regulated in a lineage- and stage-specific manner by the accessibility of target gene chromatin to the recombinases RAG1 and RAG2. It has been shown that enforced expression of the basic helix–loop–helix protein, E2A, together with RAG1/2 in a nonlymphoid cell line BOSC23 can induce V(D)J recombination in endogenous Igκ and TCR loci by increasing chromatin accessibility of target gene segments. In this study, we demonstrate that ectopically expressed E2A proteins in BOSC23 cells have the ability to bind directly to the promoter and recombination signal sequence of Vκ genes and to recruit histone acetyltransferase CBP/p300. Overexpression of CBP/p300 in conjunction with E2A results in enhancement of E2A-induced histone acetylation, germline transcription, and Igκ rearrangement. Conversely, knockdown of endogenous CBP/p300 expression by small interfering RNA leads to a decrease in histone acetylation, germline transcription and Igκ rearrangement. Furthermore, analyses using a mouse pre-B cell line revealed that endogenous E2A proteins also bind to a distinct set of Vκ genes and regulatory regions in the mouse Igκ locus and act to increase histone acetylation by recruiting p300, confirming the similar findings observed with BOSC23 cells. These observations indicate that E2A plays critical roles in inducing Igκ rearrangement by directly binding to and increasing chromatin accessibility at target gene segments.