Histone Acetylation

Histones are basic proteins that package and order the DNA into structures called nucleosomes. Nucleosomes consist of an octamer of histone proteins and a long “tail” known as the histone tail. Post-translational modifications of the histone tails affect the packaging state and thus have an impact on the transcriptional activation state.

Histone Modification Epigenetics

One key modification is histone acetylation of the N-terminal tail and this is regulated by histone acetyl transferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs). Acetylation is a type of epigenetic marker of chromatin and results in the condensed chromatin “relaxing” and in this state it is known as euchromatin, this allows greater access to the DNA for proteins such as transcription factors and results in greater levels of gene transcription.

HDACs are enzymes which reverse the acetylation of histones, resulting in tightening of the chromatin (heterochromatin) and decreases in gene transcription. Imbalance of histone acetylation is a common aspect of many disorders and HDAC inhibitors are of interest for treatment of cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic disorders.

Histone Acetylation Diagram

Cell Lines for Studying Histone Acetylation

Figure 1. The following HDAC knockout cell lines were analyzed by Western blotting using the following antibodies:

HDAC1 clone 1013-10 Abcam ab187947
HDAC2 clone 1012-4 Abcam ab187941
HDAC3 clone 579-3 Abcam Ab7030
HDAC8 clone 1015-10 Santa Cruz sc11405

Source: Dr. Christian Seiser, MPFL, Medical University of Vienna

Histone Acetylation blot
Examples of popular knockout cell lines
HDAC1 HDAC4 HDAC9 SIRT5
HDAC10 HDAC5 SIRT1 SIRT6
HDAC11 HDAC6 SIRT2  
HDAC2 HDAC7 SIRT3  
HDAC3 HDAC8 SIRT4  

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