Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of core histones have studied for over 2 decades, and are correlated with changes in transcriptional status, chromatin fiber folding, and nucleosome dynamics. However, within the centromere-specific histone H3 variant CENP-A, few modifications have been reported, and their functions remain largely unexplored. In this multidisciplinary report, we utilize in silico computational and in vivo approaches to dissect lysine 124 of human CENP-A, which was previously reported to be acetylated in advance of replication. Computational modeling demonstrates that acetylation of K124 causes tightening of the histone core, and hinders accessibility to its C-terminus, which in turn diminishes CENP-C binding. Additionally, CENP-A K124ac/H4 K79ac containing nucleosomes are prone to DNA sliding. In vivo experiments using an acetyl or unacetylatable mimic (CENP-A K124Q and K124A respectively) reveal alterations in CENP-C levels, and a modest increase in mitotic errors. Furthermore, mutation of K124 results in alterations in centromeric replication timing, with the permanently acetylated form replicating centromeres early, and the unacetylable form replicating centromeres late. Purification of native CENP-A proteins followed by mass spectrometry analysis reveal that while CENP-A K124 is acetylated at G1/S, it switches to monomethylation during early and mid-S phase. Finally, we provide evidence that the HAT p300 is involved in this cycle. Taken together, our data suggest that cyclical modifications within the CENP-A nucleosome can influence the binding of key kinetochore proteins, the integrity of mitosis and centromeric replication. These data support the emerging paradigm that core modifications in histone variant nucleosomes transduce defined changes to key biological processes.