A drought-stress-inducible histone gene in Arabidopsis thaliana is a member of a distinct class of plant linker histone variants

Robert Ascenzi, J. Stephen Gantt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have isolated and characterized a gene, His1-3, encoding a structurally divergent linker histone in Arabidopsis thaliana. Southern and northern hybridization data indicate that A. thaliana expresses three single-copy linker histone genes, each encoding a structurally distinct variant, H1-3 is a considerably smaller protein (167 amino acids with a mass of 19.0 kDa) than any other described linker histone from higher eukaryotes. We examined the expression of His1-3 at the RNA and protein levels and found that it is induced specifically by water stress. In contrast, expression of His1-1, His1-2 and His4 appear unaffected by water stress. Furthermore, the primary structure of the protein possesses distinct characteristics that are shared with another drought-inducible linker histone. H1-D, isolated from Lycopersicon pennellii. Based on structural characteristics of the deduced protein and its inducible expression, we hypothesize that H1-3 and H1-D are linker histone variants that have specialized roles in the structure and function of plant chromatin and therefore they can be considered to be members of a unique subclass of plant histones. Immunoblotting with an antibody produced against a short polypeptide in the conserved domain of this subtype indicates that similar proteins may exist in other plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-641
Number of pages13
JournalPlant molecular biology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1997

Keywords

  • Abscisic acid
  • Arabidopsis
  • Chromatin
  • Environmental stress
  • Gene family
  • Linker histone variants

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