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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1997 Feb;7(1):94-102.

Histone-like transcription factors in eukaryotes.

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  • 1Laboratories of Molecular Biophysics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Histone proteins have long been recognized as important regulators of eukaryotic gene expression. Condensation of DNA into chromatin by the core (H2A, H2B, H3, H4) and linker (H1, H5) histones effectively represses transcription initiation from the promoters of genes that have been packaged. Recently, eukaryotic transcriptional activators and coactivators (both positive and negative) resembling core and linker histone proteins have been discovered. Substantial progress has been made on structural and mechanistic studies of histones and histone-like transcription factors. Three-dimensional structures solved include the core histone octamer, an archael histone homodimer, two core histone-like subunits of transcription factor IID, a linker histone, and a linker histone-like transcriptional activator.

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