Modification of histone tails, by acetylation, methylation or phosphorylation, affects the local chromatin structure and the transcriptional regulation of adjacent genes. Pericentric heterochromatin contains hypoacetylated and methylated histone H3 that result in transcriptional silencing. In an Advanced Online Publication from
Antibodies raised against methylated branched H3 peptides recognized nuclear dots that localized at pericentric heterochromatin domains in mouse cells. Treatment with histone deacetylase inhibitors affected the pattern of antibody staining and pericentric heterochromatin, suggesting that deacetylation plays a role in maintaining higher-order chromatin structure and spatial organization.