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A Src-H3 acetylation signaling axis integrates macrophage mechanosensation with inflammatory response


Macrophages are mechanosensitive cells that can exquisitely fine-tune their function in response to their microenvironment. While macrophage polarization results in concomitant changes in cell morphology and epigenetic reprogramming, how biophysically-induced signaling cascades contribute to gene regulatory programs that drive polarization remains unknown. We reveal a cytoskeleton-dependent Src-H3 acetylation (H3Ac) axis responsible for inflammation-associated histone hyperacetylation. Inflammatory stimuli caused increases in traction forces, Src activity and H3Ac marks in macrophages, accompanied by reduced cell elongation and motility. These effects were curtailed following disruption of H3Ac-signaling through either micropattern-induced cell elongation or inhibition of H3Ac readers (BRD proteins) directly. Src activation relieves the suppression of p300 histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity by PKCδ. Furthermore, while inhibition of Src reduced p300 HAT activity and H3Ac marks globally, local H3Ac levels within the Src promoter were increased, suggesting H3Ac regulates Src levels through feedback. Together, our study reveals an adhesome-to-epigenome regulatory nexus underlying macrophage mechanosensation, where Src modulates H3Ac-associated epigenetic signaling as a means of tuning inflammatory gene activity and macrophage fate decisions in response to microenvironmental cues.

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