Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
MacroH2A is a novel nucleosomal core histone that contains a large nonhistone region and a region that closely resembles a full length histone H2A. We have cloned a cDNA that contains the entire coding region of macroH2A1.2, one of the two identified subtypes of macroH2A1. MacroH2A1.2 was found to differ from the other known subtype, macroH2A1.1, in a single segment of the nonhistone region. MacroH2A1 specific antibodies revealed relatively high levels of both subtypes in adult liver and kidney. MacroH2A1.1 was much lower in fetal liver and kidney in comparison to their adult counterparts, and was not detected in adult thymus and testis, tissues with active cell division and differentiation. Both subtypes were present at very low levels or absent from mouse embryonic stem cells maintained in an undifferentiated state by growth in the presence of leukemia inhibitory factor. MacroH2A1.2 increased when the embryonic stem cells were induced to differentiate in vitro, while macroH2A1.1 remained undetectable. These results support the idea that macroH2A1.1 and macroH2A1.2 are functionally distinct, and suggest that changes in their expression may play a role in developmentally regulated changes in chromatin structure and function. J. Cell. Biochem. 65:107-113. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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