Identification of a Caenorhabditis elegans histone H1 gene family. Characterization of a family member containing an intron and encoding a poly(A)+ mRNA

Michele Sanicola, Samuel Ward, Geoffrey Childs, Scott W. Emmons

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The isolation and properties of a gene encoding a histone H1 protein of Caenorhabditis elegans, his-24, are described. The predicted protein sequence is similar to histone H1 proteins of other eukaryotes. However, the gene structure of his-24 is atypical for a histone H1 gene; it contains an intron and encodes a polyadenylated mRNA. A family of approximately five histone H1 genes is defined by cross-hybridization to his-24. All appear to encode polyadenylated mRNAs. One gene is expressed specifically in male germ cells. These histone H1 genes are dispersed individually in the genome, apart from the previously described clusters of core histone genes (H2A, H2B, H3 and H4), which probably all encode non-polyadenylated mRNAs. This histone gene organization, with clustered core histone genes, encoding non-polyadenylated transcripts, and dispersed, histone H1 genes from which it appears only polyadenylated messages arise, suggests that C. elegans is at a stage of evolution of the histone gene family intermediate between lower eukaryotes (e.g. yeast) and the most advanced forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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