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Exp Cell Res. 1996 Apr 10;224(1):1-7.

Histone H1 and core histones in Leishmania and Crithidia: comparison with Trypanosoma.

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Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.


The Trypanosomatidae family is characterized by flagellated protozoa presenting a kinetoplast. Several genera of this family contain species that are pathogenic to man and domestic animals. Their chromatin is not condensed into chromosomes during cell division. As a contribution to the understanding of basic aspects of their genome organization, we present a systematic characterization of the histones from three genera of the Trypanosomatidae family. Crithidia fasciculata and Leishmania mexicana show core nucleosomal histones with electrophoretic mobilities both similar to and different from those of Trypanosoma cruzi and higher eukaryotes. Another protein is extracted from the chromatin of these organisms by procedures designed to purify histone H1. This protein presents elution profiles by HPLC and amino acid composition of histone H1. Considering these data and the high mobility of this protein in Triton-acetic acid-urea-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, as well as its position relative to the nucleosomal core histones in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, we postulate that Crithidia and Leishmania possess a histone H1 shorter than that of higher eukaryotes as we have previously shown to be the case for T. cruzi. The possible presence of a shorter histone H1 in these trypanosomatids may explain the absence of chromatin condensation during cell division in these flagellates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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