The practice of making poor repairs with hay wire – wire used to bale staw – originated the slang phrase. It means non functioning or acting just plain crazy. We can now view H2A.Z as the histone variant that can go haywire.
Dr. H Valdés-Mora and colleagues at the Garvin Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, an Epigenetics team headed by Susan Clark, have untangled the meaning behind seemingly conflicting published results. Pattern changes in the acetylation states of promoter-associated H2A.Z, are demonstrated as a mark of cancer-specific gene deregulation. Acetylated H2A.Z is exclusive to the epigenetic silencing marks of Trimethylate histone H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27me3) and/or DNA methylation. In prostate cancer, acetylated H2A.Z “was associated with oncogene activation and deacetylation was associated with silencing of tumor-suppressor genes (TSG). ”
Acetylation of H2A.Z is a key epigenetic modification associated with gene deregulation and epigenetic remodeling in cancer . Fátima Valdés-Mora, Jenny Z. Song, Aaron L. Statham, et al. Genome Res. published online July 25, 2011
Anyone who has viewed the enlarged nuclei of tumor cells under a microscope, has visualized the physicality of oncogenic events. The relevant question to be answered next is how does this acetylation take place? Until then, as the Aussies say… Good on you, Epigenetics group at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research!