During meiosis I (MI) in oocytes, the maturation-associated decrease of histone acetylation is critical for normal meiotic progression and accurate chromosome segregation. RBBP4 is a component of several different histone deacetylase containing chromatin-remodeling complexes, but RBBP4's role in regulating MI is not known. Depleting RBBP4 in mouse oocytes resulted in multipolar spindles at metaphase (Met) I with subsequent perturbed meiotic progression and increased incidence of abnormal spindles, chromosome misalignment, and aneuploidy at Met II. We attribute these defects to improper deacetylation of histones because histones H3K4, H4K8, H4K12, and H4K16 were hyperacetylated in RBBP4-depleted oocytes. Importantly, we show that RBBP4-mediated histone deacetylation is essential for regulating bipolar spindle assembly, at least partially, through promoting Aurora kinase (AURK) C function. To our knowledge, these results are the first to identify RBBP4 as a regulator of histone deacetylation during oocyte maturation, and they provide evidence that deacetylation is required for bipolar spindle assembly through AURKC.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4