The Sirtuins Hst3 and Hst4p Preserve Genome Integrity by Controlling Histone H3 Lysine 56 Deacetylation

Ivana Celic, Hiroshi Masumoto, Wendell P. Griffith, Pamela Meluh, Robert J. Cotter, Jef D Boeke, Alain Verreault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Background: Acetylation of histone H3 lysine 56 (K56Ac) occurs transiently in newly synthesized H3 during passage through S phase and is removed in G2. However, the physiologic roles and effectors of K56Ac turnover are unknown. Results: The sirtuins Hst3p and, to a lesser extent, Hst4p maintain low levels of K56Ac outside of S phase. In hst3 hst4 mutants, K56 hyperacetylation nears 100%. Residues corresponding to the nicotinamide binding pocket of Sir2p are essential for Hst3p function, and H3 K56 deacetylation is inhibited by nicotinamide in vivo. Rapid inactivation of Hst3/Hst4p prior to S phase elevates K56Ac to 50% in G2, suggesting that K56-acetylated nucleosomes are assembled genome-wide during replication. Inducible expression of Hst3p in G1 or G2 triggers deacetylation of mature chromatin. Cells lacking Hst3/Hst4p exhibit many phenotypes: spontaneous DNA damage, chromosome loss, thermosensitivity, and acute sensitivity to genotoxic agents. These phenotypes are suppressed by mutation of histone H3 K56 into a nonacetylatable residue or by loss of K56Ac in cells lacking the histone chaperone Asf1. Conclusions: Our results underscore the critical importance of Hst3/Hst4p in controlling histone H3 K56Ac and thereby maintaining chromosome integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1289
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 11 2006


  • DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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