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Gene. 1997 Oct 1;198(1-2):275-80.

Xenopus HDm, a maternally expressed histone deacetylase, belongs to an ancient family of acetyl-metabolizing enzymes.

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Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, School of Biological and Medical Sciences, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, UK.


Modification of core histones can alter chromatin structure, facilitating the activation and repression of genes. A key example is the acetylation of N-terminal lysines of the core histones. Recently, the mammalian histone deacetylase HD1 was cloned from Jurkat T cells, and shown to be 60% identical to the yeast global gene regulator Rpd3 (Taunton et al., 1996). Here we report the cloning of HDm, a maternally expressed putative deposition histone deacetylase from Xenopus laevis. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of histone deacetylases from diverse eukaryotes shows high levels of identity within a putative enzyme core region. Further alignment with other types of protein: acetoin-utilizing enzymes from eubacteria; acetylpolyamine hydrolases from mycoplasma and cyanobacteria; and a protein of unknown function from an archaebacterium, reveals an apparently conserved core, and suggests that histone deacetylases belong to an ancient family of enzymes with related functions.

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