Histone Lysine acetylation

Acetylation (ac) occurs exclusively on lysine residues of histone peptides and is widely studied. It is catalysed by a special category of enzymes called the 'lysine acetyltrasferases'. The acetyl-CoA acts as the acetyl group donor. Acetylation causes neutralisation of the positively charged lysine residues. Hence, this modification hampers the histone-DNA interaction. Acetylation increases the weight of histone peptide by ~42 Da per acetyl moiety.

Histone acetylation is predominantly associated with transcriptional activation. They are also important for normal progression of the cell cycle. Certain specific residues are acetylated during DNA damage and this helps in efficient DNA repair. Acetylation helps in subsequent recruitment and activity of various chromatin remodelling machinery as well as modification of other residues on the same histones or the neighbouring ones. Loss of H4K16 acetylation is considered to be a hallmark of cancer.


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Sites of histone Lysine acetylation
Site of modification Writers Erasers
H1K25ac NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1
H2AK5ac Histone acetyltransferase KAT5, Histone acetyltransferase type B catalytic subunit
H2AK9ac
H2BK120ac
H2BK12ac
H2BK15ac
H2BK16ac
H2BK20ac
H2BK46ac
H2BK5ac
H3K14ac Bifunctional protein NCOAT, Circadian locomoter output cycles protein kaput, General transcription factor 3C polypeptide 4, Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A, Histone acetyltransferase MYST3
H3K18ac CREB-binding protein, Elongator complex protein 3, Histone acetyltransferase p300
H3K23ac
H3K27ac CREB-binding protein, Histone acetyltransferase p300
H3K36ac
H3K4ac Histone deacetylase 3
H3K56ac CREB-binding protein, Histone acetyltransferase p300 Histone deacetylase 1, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-2, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-3, mitochondrial, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-6
H3K9ac Elongator complex protein 3, Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-6
H4K12ac CREB-binding protein, Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A, Histone acetyltransferase KAT5, Histone acetyltransferase MYST2, Histone acetyltransferase p300, Histone acetyltransferase type B catalytic subunit
H4K16ac CREB-binding protein, Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A, Histone acetyltransferase p300, Probable histone acetyltransferase MYST1 NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-2
H4K5ac CREB-binding protein, Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A, Histone acetyltransferase KAT5, Histone acetyltransferase MYST2, Histone acetyltransferase p300, Histone acetyltransferase type B catalytic subunit
H4K8ac Bifunctional protein NCOAT, CREB-binding protein, Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A, Histone acetyltransferase KAT5, Histone acetyltransferase MYST2, Histone acetyltransferase p300
H4K91ac Histone acetyltransferase KAT2A