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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jun 23;95(13):7480-4.

Phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 is correlated with chromosome condensation during mitosis and meiosis in Tetrahymena.

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Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA.


H3 phosphorylation has been correlated with mitosis temporally in mammalian cells and spatially in ciliated protozoa. In logarithmically growing Tetrahymena thermophila cells, for example, H3 phosphorylation can be detected in germline micronuclei that divide mitotically but not in somatic macronuclei that divide amitotically. Here, we demonstrate that micronuclear H3 phosphorylation occurs at a single site (Ser-10) in the amino-terminal domain of histone H3, the same site phosphorylated during mitosis in mammalian cells. Using an antibody specific for Ser-10 phosphorylated H3, we show that, in Tetrahymena, this modification is correlated with mitotic and meiotic divisions of micronuclei in a fashion that closely coincides with chromosome condensation. Our data suggest that H3 phosphorylation at Ser-10 is a highly conserved event among eukaryotes and is likely involved in both mitotic and meiotic chromosome condensation.

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