Send to

Choose Destination
RNA Biol. 2017 Mar 4;14(3):281-286. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2016.1189071. Epub 2016 May 21.

Histone availability as a strategy to control gene expression.

Author information

a Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa (CABIMER), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) , Seville , Spain.


Histone proteins are main structural components of the chromatin and major determinants of gene regulation. Expression of canonical histone genes is strictly controlled during the cell cycle in order to couple DNA replication with histone deposition. Indeed, reductions in the levels of canonical histones or defects in chromatin assembly cause genetic instability. Early data from yeast demonstrated that severe histone depletion also causes strong gene expression changes. We have recently reported that a moderated depletion of canonical histones in human cells leads to an open chromatin configuration, which in turn increases RNA polymerase II elongation rates and causes pre-mRNA splicing defects. Interestingly, some of the observed defects accompany the scheduled histone depletion that is associated with several senescence and aging processes. Thus, our comparison of induced and naturally-occurring histone depletion processes suggests that a programmed reduction of the level of canonical histones might be a strategy to control gene expression during specific physiological processes.


Aging; DNA damage; RNA splicing; histones; transcription

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center