Histone H3-H4 tetramer found to be a copper reductase enzyme

A team of researchers at the University of California has found that the histone H3-H4 tetramer is a copper reductase enzyme. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes two experiments they carried ...

Team decodes another piece of the histone code puzzle

Inside our cells, DNA is tightly packed and spooled around proteins called histones. Packaging DNA in this way allows large amounts of genetic material to exist inside the cell in a final form called chromatin. Tiny enzymes ...

Mothers ensure their offspring's success through epigenetics

Parents pass genes along to their offspring traits that equip them for life. In recent years, research has shown that the reality is much more complex and that parents endow much more than just genes. A new study in Cell ...

Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn

A group of scientists from CECAD has found a mechanism by which neurodevelopmental diseases concerning neurons can be explained. The loss of a certain enzyme, UBE2K, impedes the differentiation of stem cells by silencing ...

Physical force alone spurs gene expression, study reveals

Cells will ramp up gene expression in response to physical forces alone, a new study finds. Gene activation, the first step of protein production, starts less than one millisecond after a cell is stretched—hundreds of times ...

Epigenetics: Inheritance of epigenetic markers

A study undertaken by an international team led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich molecular biologist Axel Imhof sheds new light on the mechanisms that control the establishment of epigenetic modifications ...

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Histone

In biology, histones are highly alkaline proteins found in eukaryotic cell nuclei that package and order the DNA into structural units called nucleosomes. They are the chief protein components of chromatin, acting as spools around which DNA winds, and play a role in gene regulation. Without histones, the unwound DNA in chromosomes would be very long (a length to width ratio of more than 10 million to one in human DNA). For example, each human cell has about 1.8 meters of DNA, but wound on the histones it has about 90 micrometers (0.09 mm) of chromatin, which, when duplicated and condensed during mitosis, result in about 120 micrometers of chromosomes.

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