Functional analysis of histones H2A and H2B in transcriptional repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Judith Recht, Barbara Dunn, Amanda Raff, Mary Ann Osley

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34 Scopus citations


The presence of H2A-H2B dimers in nucleosomes can inhibit the binding of transcription factors to chromatin templates. To study the roles of histones H2A and H2B in transcriptional repression in vivo, mutant forms of these histones were analyzed in two different assay systems. Two repression domains were identified in H2A. One domain includes residues that fall in the beginning of the H2A-H2B dimerization region, and the second is in the H2A N terminus, a region of potential interactions with nonhistone proteins. The function of H2A and H2B in one repression assay was found to be dependent on three SPT (suppressor of Ty) genes whose products are important for chromatin-mediated repression. These results suggest that repressive chromatin structure may be established through the interactions of the Spt proteins with these histones. In contrast, other proteins, the products of the HIR (histone regulation) genes, may function to direct H2A and H2B to specific promoters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2545-2553
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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