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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Apr 18;368(4):846-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.01.144. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Trypanosome H2Bv replaces H2B in nucleosomes enriched for H3 K4 and K76 trimethylation.

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Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Some inroads have been made into characterizing histone variants and post translational modifications of histones in Trypanosoma brucei. Histone variant H2BV lysine 129 is homologous to Saccharomyces cerevisiae H2B lysine 123, whose ubiquitination is required for methylation of H3 lysines 4 and 79. We show that T. brucei H2BV K129 is not ubiquitinated, but trimethylation of H3 K4 and K76, homologs of H3 K4 and K79 in yeast, was enriched in nucleosomes containing H2BV. Mutation of H2BV K129 to alanine or arginine did not disrupt H3 K4 or K76 methylation. These data suggest that H3 K4 and K76 methylation in trypanosomes is regulated by a novel mechanism, possibly involving the replacement of H2B with H2BV in the nucleosome.

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