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Bioessays. 2000 Oct;22(10):873-7.

Are linker histones (histone H1) dispensable for survival?

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Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, Petch Building 220, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3P6.


In the multicelled filamentous ascomycete Ascolobus immersus, the single copy gene for histone H1 can be silenced by methylation in the process known as methylation-induced premeiotically (MIP). The results of a recent paper using this unique system(1) have shown that histone H1 silencing results in an enhanced DNA accessibility to nucleases and an increase in the overall extent of DNA methylation. Interestingly, while none of these effects appear to decrease the immediate viability of this fungus, silencing of histone H1 results in a significant decrease in its overall life span. These results suggest that while linker histones may be dispensable for the relatively short life span of an individual cell, they are most likely indispensable for survival of higher eukaryote organisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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