To the extent possible under law, AOP-Wiki has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to KER:1710

Relationship: 1710


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

Histone acetylation, increase leads to p21 (CDKN1A) expression, increase

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes. Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Homo sapiens Homo sapiens High NCBI
Rattus norvegicus Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
Mus musculus Mus musculus High NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help
Sex Evidence
Unspecific High

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help
Term Evidence
Not Otherwise Specified High

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

Upon histone acetylation increase, p21 transcription and protein level are increased. Acetylation of p21 promoter and p21 mRNA level have a close correlation [Gurvich, 2004]. Transient histone hyperacetylation was sufficient for the activation of p21 [Wu, 2001]. Histone hyperacetylating agents butyrate and TSA induced p21 mRNA expression [Archer, 1998]. SAHA induced the accumulation of acetylated histones in the chromatin of the p21WAF1 gene and this increase was associated with an increase in p21WAF1 expression [Richon, 2000].


Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER.  For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help
Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help

HDIs induce histone hyperacetylation and p21 activation leading to the cell cycle arrest, which suggests the close correlation between histone hyperacetylation and p21. In the models proposed for the relationship between histone acetylation and transcription, histone acetylation can be untargeted and occur at both promoter and nonpromoter regions, targeted generally to promoter regions, or targeted to specific promoters by gene-specific activator proteins [Richon, 2000, Struhl, 1998]. Since several results supported a model in which increased histone acetylation is targeted to specific genes and occurs throughout the entire gene, not just the promoter regions, histone acetylation may leads to gene transcription of p21 [Richon, 2000].

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

There are several pathways to activate p21 promoter by HDI. A HDI, apicidin, induced p21WAF1/Cip1 mRNA independent of the de novo protein synthesis and activated the p21WAF1/Cip1 promoter through Sp1 sites [Han, 2001]. Pretreatment with selective PKC inhibitors calphostin A and rottlerin suppressed the promoter activity of p21WAF1/Cip1 activated by apicidin [Han, 2001]. Furthermore, apicidin-induced translocation of PKCe from cytosolic to particulate fraction was reversed by pretreatment with calphostin C, which suggests the PKCe involvement in apicidin-induced p21WAF1/Cip1 transcription [Han, 2001]. The p21 promoter activation through Sp1 sites induced by apicidin is thought to be independent of histone hyperacetylation [Han, 2001]. The apicidin is suggested to histone hyperacetylation leading to the antiproliferative activity [Han, 2000]. These results indicate the inconclusive discussion in the linkage between histone acetylation and p21 activation.

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help

Dose-response of valproic acid (VPA) showed that 5, 10, and 20 mM of VPA inhibited HDAC6 and HDAC7 activity in 293T cells, and 0.1-2 mM of VPA induced acetylation of lysine in H3 in U937 cells [Gurvich 2004]. The p21 protein level was induced with the treatment of 0.25-2 mM of VPA in U937 cells [Gurvich 2004].

Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help

Time course for histone H4 hyperacetylation in response to in repeated doses of TSA every 8 hrs showed that histone hyperacetylation was peaked in 12 hrs in 8-fold increase and showed 5-fold increase in 24 hrs compared to control [Wu JT]. TSA (0.3 uM) induced p21 mRNA expression in 1 hr after stimulation and the induction is returned to the basal level in 24 hrs [Wu JT]. Sodium butyrate (5 mM) and repetitive doses of TSA (0.3 uM, every 8 hrs) induced the p21 mRNA level in 24 hrs in HT-29 cells [Wu JT]. Acetylation of p21 promoter and p21 mRNA induction were correlated in treatment of valproic acid and analogs [Gurvich 2004]. MAA-induced acetylation increase in histones H3 and H4 was occurred in 4, 8, 12 hrs and returned to basal level in 24 hrs after the treatment in rat testis [Wade 2008].

Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

The relationship between increased histone acetylation and p21 expression increase is likely well conserved between species.

  • TSA and sodium butyrate induced p21 mRNA expression in HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells (Homo sapiens) [Wu, 2001].
  • VPA increased acetylation of histone H3 from 3 hrs to 72 hrs after the treatment, and increased p21 expression in 24 hrs after the treatment in K562 cells (Homo sapiens) [Gurvich, 2004].
  • Scriptaid, a HDI, up-regulated p21 mRNA expression in mouse embryonic kidney cells (Mus musculus) [Chen, 2011].


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help

Gurvich N et al. (2004) Histone deacetylase is a target of valproic acid-mediated cellular differentiation. Cancer Res 64:1079-1086

Wu JT et al. (2001) Transient vs prolonged histone hyper acetylation: effects on colon cancer cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 280:G482-G490

Archer SY et al. (1998) p21WAF1 is required for butyrate-mediated growth inhibition of human colon cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95:6791-6796

Richon VM et al. (2000) Histone deacetylase inhibitor selectively induces p21WAF1 expression and gene-associated histone acetylation. Proc Natl Acad Sci 97:10014-10019

Struhl K. (1998) Histone acetylation and transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. Gene Dev 12:599-606

Parajuli KR et al. (2014) Methoxyacetic acid suppresses prostate cancer cell growth by inducing growth arrest and apoptosis. Am J Clin Exp Urol 2:300-313

Han JW et al. (2001) Activation of p21WAF1/Cip1 transcription through Sp1 sites by histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin: involvement of protein kinase C. J Biol Chem 276:42084-42090

Han JW et al. (2000) Apidin, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, inhibits proliferation of tumor cells via induction of p21WAF1/Cip1 and gelsolin. Cancer Res 60:6068-6074

Wade MG et al. (2008) Methoxyacetic acid-induced spermatocyte death is associated with histone hyperacetylation in rats. Biol Reprod 78:822-831

Chen S et al (2011) Histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity for embryonic kidney gene expression, growth, and differentiation. J Biol Chem 286: 32775-32789