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Gene. 1996 Oct 17;176(1-2):1-8.

An H3 coding region regulatory element is common to all four nucleosomal classes of mouse histone-encoding genes.

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  • 1Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee 32306-3050, USA.


We have previously identified the alpha element within the mouse H2A and H3 histone gene coding region activating sequences (CRAS). This common element is required for normal in vivo expression of these two replication-dependent genes and interacts with nuclear factor(s). Here we report that the CRAS alpha element is present in the coding region sequences of two other replication-dependent mouse H genes, H2B and H4. The DNA-protein interactions were examined by DNase I footprinting and methylation-interference assays, and are very similar, if not identical, for these replication-dependent genes, confirming that the alpha element is the binding site for common nuclear protein(s) in H genes of all four nucleosomal classes. Moreover, we show that the same nuclear factor is involved in these DNA-protein interactions. Our findings, together with the fact that a replication-independent H gene, H3.3, has a mutated alpha element that fails to interact with nuclear proteins, suggest that this regulatory element is involved in the coordinate expression of the replication-dependent core H genes in the eukaryotic cell cycle.

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