Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard
Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred
12 Issues per year
IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 2.710
Rank 142 out of 289 in category Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Science Edition
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 1.607
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.751
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 2.609
The histone H1 family: specific members, specific functions?
- 1Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology, Stübeweg 51, D-79108 Freiburg, Germany
- 2Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology, Stübeweg 51, D-79108 Freiburg, Germany
- 3Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology, Stübeweg 51, D-79108 Freiburg, Germany
The linker histone H1 binds to the DNA entering and exiting the nucleosomal core particle and has an important role in establishing and maintaining higher order chromatin structures. H1 forms a complex family of related proteins with distinct species, tissue and developmental specificity. In higher eukaryotes all H1 variants have the same general structure, consisting of a central conserved globular domain and less conserved N-terminal and C-terminal tails. These tails are moderately conserved among species, but differ among variants, suggesting a specific function for each H1 variant. Due to compensatory mechanisms and to the lack of proper tools, it has been very difficult to study the biological role of individual variants in chromatin-mediated processes. Our knowledge about H1 variants is indeed limited, and in vitro and in vivo observations have often been contradictory. Therefore, H1 variants were considered to be functionally redundant. However, recent knockout studies and biochemical analyses in different organisms have revealed exciting new insights into the specificity and mechanisms of actions of the H1 family members. Here, we collect and compare the available literature about H1 variants and discuss possible specific roles that challenge the concept of H1 being a mere structural component of chromatin and a general repressor of transcription.
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