Meiotic recombination hotspots are associated with histone post-translational modifications and open chromatin. However, it remains unclear how histone modifications and chromatin structure regulate meiotic recombination. Here, we identify acetylation of histone H4 at Lys44 (H4K44ac) occurring on the nucleosomal lateral surface. We show that H4K44 is acetylated at pre-meiosis and meiosis and displays genome-wide enrichment at recombination hotspots in meiosis. Acetylation at H4K44 is required for normal meiotic recombination, normal levels of double-strand breaks (DSBs) during meiosis, and optimal sporulation. Non-modifiable H4K44R results in increased nucleosomal occupancy around DSB hotspots. Our results indicate that H4K44ac functions to facilitate chromatin accessibility favorable for normal DSB formation and meiotic recombination.
Keywords: acetylation; chromatin; histone; meiotic recombination; sporulation.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.