Transcription factors and RNA polymerase II can be modified by O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) monosaccharides at serine or threonine residues, yet the precise functional roles of this modification are largely unknown. Here, we show that O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), the enzyme that catalyzes this posttranslational modification, interacts with a histone deacetylase complex by binding to the corepressor mSin3A. Functionally, OGT and mSin3A cooperatively repress transcription in parallel with histone deacetylation. We propose that mSin3A targets OGT to promoters to inactivate transcription factors and RNA polymerase II by O-GlcNAc modification, which acts in concert with histone deacetylation to promote gene silencing in an efficient and specific manner.
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