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Nuclear Histones and Early Embryogenesis of the Chick

Naturevolume 212pages304306 (1966) | Download Citation



THE biological processes of differentiation and development must involve a differential expression of the genome. The mechanisms for control of such expression are as yet unknown. A genetic regulatory function has been postulated, however, for certain basic cellular proteins, the histones1–3. The presence of histones within the cell nucleus, their association with DNA and UNA, and their molecular heterogeneity give support to this concept4. Furthermore, interactions between histones and in vitro DNA-dependent RNA synthesis systems have been reported5–8. In a developing embryo, differentiation might be reflected by changes in the nuclear histone complement as new and differentiated tissues are formed, especially during the early stages of embryogenesis, such as gastrulation, when the primary organ rudiments are first formed. For these reasons, an investigation was made of the electrophoretic patterns and amino-acid compositions of histones extracted from nuclei of the chick embryo from gastrulation to 7 days of age.

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  1. Department of Biochemistry, M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, The University of Texas, Houston

  2. Biomedical Research Group, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, University of California, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    • L. R. GURLEY
    •  & G. R. SHEPHERD


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