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Bioessays. 1998 Jul;20(7):584-8.

Linker histones versus HMG1/2: a struggle for dominance?

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-7305, USA.


The linker histones (H1, H1 zero, H5, etc.) and a group of abundant non-histone chromosomal proteins (HMG1/2) bind to linker DNA in chromatin and exhibit both generalized and specific effects on gene transcription. The two classes of proteins share many features of DNA binding behaviour, although they are structurally unrelated. While the linker histones and HMG1/2 exhibit direct competition in binding to such structures as four-way junction DNA, whether they compete for binding to the nucleosome has not been investigated. The possibility for either opposite or synergistic effects on gene regulation must be considered at this point.

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