International journal of peptide and protein research

Microheterogeneity in H1 histones and its consequences.

PMID 3323091


The extent of microheterogeneity of H1 histones in individual higher organisms, without considering post-translational modifications, is such that five to eight molecular species can be recognized. The H1 variants differ among themselves in their ability to condense DNA and chromatin fragments, and they are non-uniformly distributed in chromatin. This review assembles data that support the notion that the differences in chromatin condensation (heterochromatization) observed through the microscope are maintained by the non-uniform distribution of H1 variants, and that this pattern of chromatin condensation may determine the dynamics of chromatin during replication and may represent the commitment aspect of differentiation. The differential response of the multiple H1 variants with regard to their synthesis and turnover is consistent with this notion.