Highly acetylated H4 is associated with histone displacement in rat spermatids

Marvin L. Meistrich, Patricia K. Trostle‐Weige, Rueyling Lin, C. David Allis, Yogendra M. Bhatnagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


The presence of highly acetylated histone H4 during spermatogenesis was studied to evaluate its correlation with the events of gene transcription, histone deposition, and histone displacement. We utilized an antibody raised to a pentaacetylated synthetic peptide that preferentially recognizes highly (tetra‐ and tri‐) acetylated forms of rat testis H4. Electrophoretic separation of histones from enriched fractions of spermatogenic cells followed by detection of these forms by staining and by immunoblotting using this antibody showed that the highly acetylated forms were limited almost exclusively to spermatids beginning at step 11 of development. Immunofluorescence generally confirmed this result but also detected a high degree of acetylation in steps 9 and 10. Immunofluorescence also revealed a striking polarity in the progression of histone from the spermatid nucleus. Highly acetylated H4 was displaced from the anterior to the caudal portion of the spermatid nucleus during steps 11 and 12, along with other histones, prior to their displacement by transition proteins. Thus, while monoacetylated and low levels of diacetylated forms of H4 were associated with stages at which histone deposition and transcription occur, the more highly acetylated forms appeared in high levels only at the stage at which histone displacement occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-181
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992


  • Antibodies
  • Cell separation
  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear condensation
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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