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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2003 Apr;13(2):179-84.

Regulation of gene expression by histone-like proteins in bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Moyne Institute of Preventive Medicine, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Histone-like proteins in bacteria contribute to the control of gene expression, as well as participating in other DNA transactions such as recombination and DNA replication. They have also been described, somewhat vaguely, as contributors to the organization of the bacterial nucleoid. Our view of how these proteins act in the cell is becoming clearer, particularly in the cases of Fis, H-NS and HU, three of the most intensively studied members of the group. Especially helpful have been studies of the contributions of these proteins to the regulation of specific genes such as the gal operon, and genes coding for stable RNA species, topoisomerases, and the histone-like proteins themselves. Recent advances have also been assisted by insights into the effects the histone-like proteins exert on DNA structure not only at specific promoters but throughout the genome.

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