ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180427-1
Histone H4 acetylation regulates behavioral inter-individual variability in zebrafish
Román, A.C., Vicente-Page, J., Pérez-Escudero, A., Carvajal-González, J.M., Fernández-Salguero, P.M., de Polavieja, G.G.
Date: 2018
Source: Genome biology   19: 55 (Journal)
Registered Authors:
Keywords: Behavior, Epigenetics, HDAC, Inter-individual variability, YY1, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Biological Variation, Population*/genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Histone Code*
  • Histone Deacetylase 1/metabolism
  • Histones/metabolism
  • Larva/genetics
  • Larva/metabolism
  • Larva/physiology
  • Swimming
  • YY1 Transcription Factor/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/growth & development
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/physiology
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
PubMed: 29695303 Full text @ Genome Biol.
Animals can show very different behaviors even in isogenic populations, but the underlying mechanisms to generate this variability remain elusive. We use the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model to test the influence of histone modifications on behavior.
We find that laboratory and isogenic zebrafish larvae show consistent individual behaviors when swimming freely in identical wells or in reaction to stimuli. This behavioral inter-individual variability is reduced when we impair the histone deacetylation pathway. Individuals with high levels of histone H4 acetylation, and specifically H4K12, behave similarly to the average of the population, but those with low levels deviate from it. More precisely, we find a set of genomic regions whose histone H4 acetylation is reduced with the distance between the individual and the average population behavior. We find evidence that this modulation depends on a complex of Yin-yang 1 (YY1) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) that binds to and deacetylates these regions. These changes are not only maintained at the transcriptional level but also amplified, as most target regions are located near genes encoding transcription factors.
We suggest that stochasticity in the histone deacetylation pathway participates in the generation of genetic-independent behavioral inter-individual variability.