Nonhistone Chromosomal Proteins and Gene Regulation

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Science  01 Mar 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4127, pp. 817-824
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4127.817


Evidence from several model systems suggests that nonhistone chromosomal proteins may regulate gene expression in eukaryotic cells. The data indicate that the synthesis of new species of nonhistone chromosomal proteins as well as modifications of preexisting nonhistone chromosomal proteins are involved in the control of transcription. However, from the vast number of proteins included in this class, it is apparent that, in addition to regulating the transcription of defined genome loci, the nonhistone chromosomal proteins include enzymes that have a general function, proteins that are involved in determining the structure of chromatin, as well as proteins that serve as recognition sites for binding of regulatory macromolecules. The presence of a nucleoplasmic pool of nonhistone chromosomal proteins which may exchange with the chromatin has also been reported (89). While it is clear that the nonhistone chromosomal proteins play a key role in the regulation of gene expression, the exact manner in which they interact with the genome to initiate, modify, or augment the transcription of specific RNA molecules remains to be resolved.