Acetylation increases access of remodelling complexes to their nucleosome targets to enhance initiation of V(D)J recombination.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • M Baumann
  • A Eberharter
  • A Mamais
  • PB Becker
  • J Boyes

Colleges, School and Institutes


Targeted chromatin remodelling is essential for many nuclear processes, including the regulation of V(D)J recombination. ATP-dependent nucleosome remodelling complexes are important players in this process whose activity must be tightly regulated. We show here that histone acetylation regulates nucleosome remodelling complex activity to boost RAG cutting during the initiation of V(D)J recombination. RAG cutting requires nucleosome mobilization from recombination signal sequences. Histone acetylation does not stimulate nucleosome mobilization per se by CHRAC, ACF or their catalytic subunit, ISWI. Instead, we find the more open structure of acetylated chromatin regulates the ability of nucleosome remodelling complexes to access their nucleosome templates. We also find that bromodomain/acetylated histone tail interactions can contribute to this targeting at limited concentrations of remodelling complex. We therefore propose that the changes in higher order chromatin structure associated with histone acetylation contribute to the correct targeting of nucleosome remodelling complexes and this is a novel way in which histone acetylation can modulate remodelling complex activity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6311-21
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007