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The effects of histone H4 tail acetylations on cation-induced chromatin folding and self-association.

ABSTRACT: Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind regulation of chromatin folding through covalent modifications of the histone N-terminal tails is hampered by a lack of accessible chromatin containing precisely modified histones. We study the internal folding and intermolecular self-association of a chromatin system consisting of saturated 12-mer nucleosome arrays containing various combinations of completely acetylated lysines at positions 5, 8, 12 and 16 of histone H4, induced by the cations Na(+), K(+), Mg(2+), Ca(2+), cobalt-hexammine(3+), spermidine(3+) and spermine(4+). Histones were prepared using a novel semi-synthetic approach with native chemical ligation. Acetylation of H4-K16, but not its glutamine mutation, drastically reduces cation-induced folding of the array. Neither acetylations nor mutations of all the sites K5, K8 and K12 can induce a similar degree of array unfolding. The ubiquitous K(+), (as well as Rb(+) and Cs(+)) showed an unfolding effect on unmodified arrays almost similar to that of H4-K16 acetylation. We propose that K(+) (and Rb(+)/Cs(+)) binding to a site on the H2B histone (R96-L99) disrupts H4K16 ε-amino group binding to this specific site, thereby deranging H4 tail-mediated nucleosome-nucleosome stacking and that a similar mechanism operates in the case of H4-K16 acetylation. Inter-array self-association follows electrostatic behavior and is largely insensitive to the position or nature of the H4 tail charge modification.

SUBMITTER: Allahverdi A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3061077 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01


REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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