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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 19;8(6):e68374. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068374. Print 2013.

Acetylation of Chromatin-Associated Histone H3 Lysine 56 Inhibits the Development of Encysted Artemia Embryos.

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Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of the Ministry of Education and College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.



As a response to harsh environments, the crustacean artemia produces diapause gastrula embryos (cysts), in which cell division and embryonic development are totally arrested. This dormant state can last for very long periods but be terminated by specific environmental stimuli. Thus, artemia is an ideal model organism in which to study cell cycle arrest and embryonic development.


Our study focuses on the roles of H3K56ac in the arrest of cell cycle and development during artemia diapause formation and termination. We found that the level of H3K56ac on chromatin increased during diapause formation, and decreased upon diapause termination, remaining basal level throughout subsequent embryonic development. In both HeLa cells and artemia, blocking the deacetylation with nicotinamide, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, increased the level of H3K56ac on chromatin and induced an artificial cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, we found that this arrest of the cell cycle and development was induced by H3K56ac and dephosphorylation of the checkpoint protein, retinoblastoma protein.


These results have revealed the dynamic change in H3K56ac on chromatin during artemia diapause formation and termination. Thus, our findings provide insight into the regulation of cell division during arrest of artemia embryonic development and provide further insight into the functions of H3K56ac.

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