Histone variants

Histone variants are non-canonical (non-allelic) variants of histones – representing one or a few amino acid differences – that are expressed at very low levels compared with their conventional counterparts. Histone variants have specific expression, localization and species-distribution patterns, and confer novel structural and functional properties on the nucleosome, affecting chromatin remodelling and histone post-translational modifications.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Kinetochore function depends on H4K20 monomethylation in centromeric nucleosomes but the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here, the authors provide evidence that the centromere-specific nucleosome subunit CENP-A facilitates H4K20 methylation by enabling a conformational change of the H4 N-terminal tail.

    • Yasuhiro Arimura
    • , Hiroaki Tachiwana
    • , Hiroki Takagi
    • , Tetsuya Hori
    • , Hiroshi Kimura
    • , Tatsuo Fukagawa
    •  & Hitoshi Kurumizaka
  • Research | | open

    The histone variant macroH2A1 localizes to two functionally distinct chromatin subtypes marked by either H3K27me3 or H2B acetylations. Here the authors identify the features of macroH2A1 required for its recruitment to H2B-acetylated chromatin and identify H2BK20 acetylation as a critical requirement for this recruitment.

    • Penelope D. Ruiz
    •  & Matthew J. Gamble
  • Research | | open

    Long-read sequencing allows the assembly of antigen-gene arrays in Trypanosoma brucei and, coupled with deletion experiments, demonstrates that histone variants act as a molecular link between genome architecture, chromatin conformation and antigen variation.

    • Laura S. M. Müller
    • , Raúl O. Cosentino
    • , Konrad U. Förstner
    • , Julien Guizetti
    • , Carolin Wedel
    • , Noam Kaplan
    • , Christian J. Janzen
    • , Panagiota Arampatzi
    • , Jörg Vogel
    • , Sascha Steinbiss
    • , Thomas D. Otto
    • , Antoine-Emmanuel Saliba
    • , Robert P. Sebra
    •  & T. Nicolai Siegel
    Nature 563, 121-125
  • Research | | open

    Epigenetic modifications are a key contributor to cell identity, and their propagation is crucial for proper development. Here the authors use a super-resolution microscopy approach to reveal how histone variants are faithfully transmitted during genome duplication, and reveal an important role for the histone chaperone ASF1 in the redistribution of parental histones.

    • Camille Clément
    • , Guillermo A. Orsi
    • , Alberto Gatto
    • , Ekaterina Boyarchuk
    • , Audrey Forest
    • , Bassam Hajj
    • , Judith Miné-Hattab
    • , Mickaël Garnier
    • , Zachary A. Gurard-Levin
    • , Jean-Pierre Quivy
    •  & Geneviève Almouzni
  • Research | | open

    Recent studies have identified a number of oncogenic histone point mutations in different cancers. Here the authors provide evidence that H3.3 G34R substitution mutation, which is found in paediatric gliomas, causes changes in H3K9me3 and H3K36me3 by interfering with the KDM4 family of K9/K36 demethylases.

    • Hsiao P. J. Voon
    • , Maheshi Udugama
    • , Wendi Lin
    • , Linda Hii
    • , Ruby H.P. Law
    • , David L. Steer
    • , Partha P. Das
    • , Jeffrey R. Mann
    •  & Lee H. Wong

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