Histone H5 in the control of DNA synthesis and cell proliferation

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Science  07 Jul 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4913, pp. 68-71
DOI: 10.1126/science.2740916


The linker histones (H1, H5, H1 degrees) are involved in the condensation of chromatin into the 30-nanometer fiber. This supranucleosome organization correlates with the resting state of chromatin, and it is therefore possible that the linker histones play an active role in the control of chromatin activity. The effect of H5 has been directly determined by expression of an inducible transfected H5 gene in rat sarcoma cells, which do not produce H5. Transfection resulted in the reversible inhibition of DNA replication and arrest of cells in G1, at which time H5 concentrations approached that of terminally differentiated avian erythrocytes. The arrest of proliferation was accompanied by specific changes in gene expression probably related to the cell cycle block. The selectivity of these effects suggest that H5 plays an active role in the control of DNA replication and cell proliferation.

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