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Gene. 1995 May 19;157(1-2):253-6.

Specific variants of H1 histone regulate CpG methylation in eukaryotic DNA.

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Department of Human Biopathology, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy.


Upon HPLC fractionation of human placenta or calf thymus H1 histone preparations, only some fractions enriched in the H1e-c variants were able to exert a severe inhibition on in vitro enzymatic DNA methylation. These fractions, though similar to the other variants in interacting with genomic DNA, were also the only ones which could bind CpG-rich ds-oligodeoxyribonucleotides (oligos). Both the 6-CpG ds-oligo and the DNA purified from chromatin fractions enriched in 'CpG islands' were good competitors for the binding of H1e-c to the 6meCpG ds-oligo. This ability to bind any DNA sequence and to suppress the enzymatic methylation in any sequence containing CpG dinucleotides suggests, for these particular H1 variants, a possible role in maintaining CpG island DNA and linker DNA at low methylation levels.

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