A direct link between core histone acetylation and transcriptionally active chromatin

EMBO J. 1988 May;7(5):1395-402. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1988.tb02956.x.


An antiserum raised against chemically acetylated histone H4 was found to recognize the epitope epsilon-N-acetyl lysine. Affinity-purified antibodies were used to fractionate oligo- and mononucleosomal chromatin fragments from the nuclei of 15-day chicken embryo erythrocytes. Antibody-bound chromatin was found to contain elevated levels of acetylated core histones. On probing with sequences of alpha D globin, an actively transcribed gene, the antibody-bound chromatin was 15- to 30-fold enriched relative to the input chromatin. Using ovalbumin sequences as a probe, no enrichment was observed. The results demonstrate directly that transcriptionally active genes carry acetylated core histones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chromatin / isolation & purification
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Globins / genetics
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Globins