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PLoS Genet. 2013;9(3):e1003377. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003377. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) regulates chromosome segregation and kinetochore function via H4K16 deacetylation during oocyte maturation in mouse.

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Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.


Changes in histone acetylation occur during oocyte development and maturation, but the role of specific histone deacetylases in these processes is poorly defined. We report here that mice harboring Hdac1(-/+)/Hdac2(-/-) or Hdac2(-/-) oocytes are infertile or sub-fertile, respectively. Depleting maternal HDAC2 results in hyperacetylation of H4K16 as determined by immunocytochemistry--normal deacetylation of other lysine residues of histone H3 or H4 is observed--and defective chromosome condensation and segregation during oocyte maturation occurs in a sub-population of oocytes. The resulting increased incidence of aneuploidy likely accounts for the observed sub-fertility of mice harboring Hdac2(-/-) oocytes. The infertility of mice harboring Hdac1(-/+)/Hdac2(-/-)oocytes is attributed to failure of those few eggs that properly mature to metaphase II to initiate DNA replication following fertilization. The increased amount of acetylated H4K16 likely impairs kinetochore function in oocytes lacking HDAC2 because kinetochores in mutant oocytes are less able to form cold-stable microtubule attachments and less CENP-A is located at the centromere. These results implicate HDAC2 as the major HDAC that regulates global histone acetylation during oocyte development and, furthermore, suggest HDAC2 is largely responsible for the deacetylation of H4K16 during maturation. In addition, the results provide additional support that histone deacetylation that occurs during oocyte maturation is critical for proper chromosome segregation.

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