The histone acetyltransferase HBO1 promotes efficient tip cell sprouting during angiogenesis

Development. 2021 Oct 15;148(20):dev199581. doi: 10.1242/dev.199581. Epub 2021 Oct 26.


Blood vessel growth and remodelling are essential during embryonic development and disease pathogenesis. The diversity of endothelial cells (ECs) is transcriptionally evident and ECs undergo dynamic changes in gene expression during vessel growth and remodelling. Here, we investigated the role of the histone acetyltransferase HBO1 (KAT7), which is important for activating genes during development and for histone H3 lysine 14 acetylation (H3K14ac). Loss of HBO1 and H3K14ac impaired developmental sprouting angiogenesis and reduced pathological EC overgrowth in the retinal endothelium. Single-cell RNA sequencing of retinal ECs revealed an increased abundance of tip cells in Hbo1-deficient retinas, which led to EC overcrowding in the retinal sprouting front and prevented efficient tip cell migration. We found that H3K14ac was highly abundant in the endothelial genome in both intra- and intergenic regions, suggesting that HBO1 acts as a genome organiser that promotes efficient tip cell behaviour necessary for sprouting angiogenesis. This article has an associated 'The people behind the papers' interview.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Endothelial cell; Histone acetylation; KAT7; Mouse; Single-cell RNA sequencing; Sprouting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*


  • Histones
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Kat7 protein, mouse
  • Lysine