Histone H2A.Z acetylation modulates an essential charge patch

Mol Cell. 2001 Jun;7(6):1329-35. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(01)00269-6.


Histone H2A.Z is structurally and functionally distinct from the major H2As. To understand the function of H2A.Z acetylation, we performed a mutagenic analysis of the six acetylated lysines in the N-terminal tail of Tetrahymena H2A.Z. Tetrahymena cannot survive with arginines at all six sites. Retention of one acetylatable lysine is sufficient to provide the essential function of H2A.Z acetylation. This essential function can be mimicked by deleting the region encompassing all six sites, or by mutations that reduce the positive charge of the N terminus at the acetylation sites themselves, or at other sites in the tail. These properties argue that the essential function of H2A.Z acetylation is to modify a "charge patch" by reducing the charge of the tail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Arginine / genetics
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Electrochemistry
  • Gene Deletion
  • Glutamine / genetics
  • Glutamine / metabolism
  • Histones / genetics*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Lysine / genetics
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Tetrahymena thermophila / genetics*
  • Tetrahymena thermophila / growth & development


  • Histones
  • Glutamine
  • Arginine
  • Lysine