Vitalini, Michael W. Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Wallrath, Lori L. Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
- Genome packaging
- Biochemical properties and functions
- Evolutionary conservation
- Histone variants
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Any of the small, positively charged proteins responsible for packaging the genetic material (DNA) of eukaryotic organisms. Histones were first isolated from avian blood and described in 1884 by Albrecht Kossel, a discovery that contributed to his winning of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1910. Initially, the function of histones was thought to be strictly structural, acting to compact DNA to a size small enough to be contained within the cell nucleus. Today, histones are also recognized as playing important roles in regulating gene expression through interactions with DNA and nonhistone chromosomal proteins. See also: Chromosome; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Gene; Protein
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