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Acetylation of lysine residues has several characterised functions in chromatin. These include neutralization of the lysine's positive charge to directly influence histone tail-DNA/internucleosomal interactions or indirect effects via bromodomain-containing effector proteins. Recently, we described a novel function of lysine acetylation to influence proline isomerization and thus local protein conformation. We found that acetylation of lysine 14 in the histone H3 N-terminal tail (H3K14ac), an intrinsically disordered domain, increased the proportion of neighbouring proline 16 (H3P16) in the trans conformation. This conformation of the tail was associated with reduced tri-methylation on histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) due to both decreased methylation by the Set1 methyltransferase (with the me3-specific subunit Spp1) and increased demethylation by the demethylase Jhd2. Interestingly, H3K4me3 on individual genes was differentially affected by substitution of H3K14 or H3P16, with ribosomal protein genes losing the least H3K4me3 and environmental stress-induced genes losing the most.

Original publication




Journal article


Microb Cell

Publication Date





390 - 392


Saccharomyces cerevisiae, histone H3, intrinsically disordered regions, lysine acetylation, post-translational modifications, proline cis-trans isomerization, protein structure