Transcriptional activator which regulates the transcription of various genes, including those involved in anti-apoptosis, cell growth, and DNA damage response. Dependent on its binding partner, binds to CRE (cAMP response element) consensus sequences (5'-TGACGTCA-3') or to AP-1 (activator protein 1) consensus sequences (5'-TGACTCA-3'). In the nucleus, contributes to global transcription and the DNA damage response, in addition to specific transcriptional activities that are related to cell development, proliferation and death. In the cytoplasm, interacts with and perturbs HK1- and VDAC1-containing complexes at the mitochondrial outer membrane, thereby impairing mitochondrial membrane potential, inducing mitochondrial leakage and promoting cell death. The phosphorylated form (mediated by ATM) plays a role in the DNA damage response and is involved in the ionizing radiation (IR)-induced S phase checkpoint control and in the recruitment of the MRN complex into the IR-induced foci (IRIF). Exhibits histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity which specifically acetylates histones H2B and H4 in vitro. In concert with CUL3 and RBX1, promotes the degradation of KAT5 thereby attenuating its ability to acetylate and activate ATM. Can elicit oncogenic or tumor suppressor activities depending on the tissue or cell type.