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Interactions of chicken H1 and H5 histones with poly(dA-dT), poly(dG-dC), and the Z-DNA structure brominated poly(dG-dC) were measured by a nitrocellulose filter binding assay and circular dichroism. At low protein:DNA ratios, both H1 and H5 bound more Z-DNA than B-DNA, and binding of Z-DNA was less sensitive to interference by an increase in ionic strength (to 600 mM NaCl). H5 histone bound a higher percentage of all three polynucleotides than did H1 and caused more profound CD spectral changes as well. For spectral studies, histones and DNA were mixed in 2.0 M NaCl and dialyzed stepwise to low ionic strength. Prepared in this way or by direct mixing in 150 mM NaCl, complexes made with right-handed poly(dG-dC) showed a deeply negative psi spectrum (deeper with H5 than with H1). Complexes of histone and Br-poly(dG-dC) showed a reduction in the characteristic Z-DNA spectral features, with H5 again having a greater effect. Complexes of poly(dA-dT) and H5, prepared by mixing them at a protein:DNA ratio of 0.5, displayed a distinctive spectrum that was not achieved with H1 even at higher protein:DNA ratios. It included a new negative band at 287 nm and a large positive band at 255 nm, giving the appearance of an inverted spectrum relative to spectra of various forms of B-DNA. These findings may reflect an ability of the different lysine-rich histones to cause varying conformational changes in the condensation of chromatin in DNA regions of highly biased base sequence.


C V Mura, B D Stollar. Interactions of H1 and H5 histones with polynucleotides of B- and Z-DNA conformations. Biochemistry. 1984 Dec 4;23(25):6147-52

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PMID: 6549262

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