Holocarboxylase synthetase regulates expression of biotin transporters by chromatin remodeling events at the SMVT locus

Michael Gralla, Gabriela Camporeale, Janos Zempleni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT) is essential for mediating and regulating biotin entry into mammalian cells. In cells, biotin is covalently linked to histones in a reaction catalyzed by holocarboxylase synthetase (HCS); biotinylation of lysine 12-biotinylated histone H4 (K12Bio H4) causes gene silencing. Here, we propose a novel role for HCS in sensing and regulating levels of biotin in eukaryotic cells. We hypothesized that nuclear translocation of HCS increases in response to biotin supplementation; HCS then biotinylates histone H4 at SMVT promoters, silencing biotin transporter genes. Jurkat lymphoma cells were cultured in media containing 0.025, 0.25, or 10 nmol/l biotin. The nuclear translocation of HCS correlated with biotin concentrations in media; the relative enrichment of both HCS and K12Bio H4 at SMVT promoter 1 (but not promoter 2) increased by 91% in cells cultured in medium containing 10 nmol/l biotin compared with 0.25 nmol/l biotin. This increase of K12Bio H4 at the SMVT promoter decreased SMVT expression by up to 86%. Biotin homeostasis by HCS-dependent chromatin remodeling at the SMVT promoter 1 locus was disrupted in HCS knockdown cells, as evidenced by abnormal chromatin structure (K12Bio H4 abundance) and increased SMVT expression. The findings from this study are consistent with the theory that HCS senses biotin, and that biotin regulates its own cellular uptake by participating in HCS-dependent chromatin remodeling events at the SMVT promoter 1 locus in Jurkat cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-408
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Biotin
  • Chromatin
  • Holocarboxylase synthetase
  • Human
  • Sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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