Histone acetylation and deacetylation play central roles in the regulation of chromatin structure and transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNA Pol II). Although Hda1 histone deacetylase complex (Hda1C) is known to selectively deacetylate histone H3 and H2B to repress transcription, previous studies have suggested its potential roles in histone H4 deacetylation. Recently, we have shown that Hda1C has two distinct functions in histone deacetylation and transcription. Histone H4-specific deacetylation at highly transcribed genes negatively regulates RNA Pol II elongation and H3 deacetylation at inactive genes fine-tunes the kinetics of gene induction upon environmental changes. Here, we review the recent understandings of transcriptional regulation via histone deacetylation by Hda1C. In addition, we discuss the potential mechanisms for histone substrate switching by Hda1C, depending on transcriptional frequency and activity.
Keywords: Hda1C; gene induction; histone deacetylation; substrate switching; transcription elongation.