Differential acetylation of core histones in rat cerebral cortex neurons during development and aging

Benjamín PIÑA, Pedro MARTÍNEZ, Pedro SUAU

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Core histones can be modified by aceylation and this modification has been correlated with the modulation of chromatin condensation and histone deposition. We have now studied the levels of acetylation of the core histones in rat brain cortical neurons from the middle of the period of neuronal proliferation through postnatal development and aging. The results show that the level of acetylation of H4 decreases with age. The kinetics of H4 deacetylation show a perinatal fast phase followed by a much slower phase that spans the rest of the period examined. H4 deacetylation is accounted for by the decrease of the monoacetylated species, the proportions of the more highly acetylated species remaining essentially constant. By contrast to histone H4, the overall levels of acetylation and the proportions of the different acetylated species of H2A, H2B and H3 remain unchanged throughout the period examined. Furthermore, the variants belonging to a given histone class always show the same level of acetylation. The fact that in neurons the level of monoacetylated H4 decreases during development and aging, in sharp contrast with the constancy of the levels of all other acetylated histone species, raises the possibility that in interphase chromatin monoacetylated H4 may have a central role in the modulation of chromatin structure. The results also suggest that the slow decrease of the proportion of monoacetylated H4 may imply a gradual loss of chromatin structural plasticity and thus lead to aging. Copyright © 1988, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-315
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988


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