Kamieniarz K, Izzo A, Dundr M, Tropberger P, Ozretic L, Kirfel J, Scheer E, Tropel P, Wisniewski JR, Tora L, Viville S, Buettner R, Schneider R
The linker histone H1 is a key player in chromatin organization, yet our understanding of the regulation of H1 functions by post-translational modifications is very limited. We provide here the first functional characterization of H1 acetylation. We show that H1.4K34 acetylation (H1.4K34ac) is mediated by GCN5 and is preferentially enriched at promoters of active genes, where it stimulates transcription by increasing H1 mobility and recruiting a general transcription factor. H1.4K34ac is dynamic during spermatogenesis and marks undifferentiated cells such as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and testicular germ cell tumors. We propose a model for H1.4K34ac as a novel regulator of chromatin function with a dual role in transcriptional activation.