Histone acetylation is associated with transcriptional activation of many genes. However, the role of acetylation in transcriptional regulation of heat shock protein genes (hsp) still remains an obscure issue. Here we examined the effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs), trichostatin A, and sodium butyrate, on changes in acetylation level of core histones and on expression of hsp22 gene in Drosophila melanogaster. The results showed that both HDIs elevated the acetylation level of histone H3. By using the chromatin immunoprecipitation, we located the HDI-induced H3 hyperacetylation at both the promoter and the downstream of RNA polymerase II of the transcribing hsp22 gene. Meanwhile, the elevated acetylation level increased the accessibility of heat shock factor to target cis-acting regulatory sites. We conclude that histone acetylation stimulates the transcription initiation and promotes the transcription elongation, thereby up-regulating both basal and inducible expression of hsp22 in D. melanogaster.