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Histone variants: are they functionally heterogeneous?

David T Brown

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA

Genome Biology 2001, 2:reviews0006-reviews0006.6  doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-7-reviews0006

Published: 5 July 2001


In most eukaryotes, histones, which are the major structural components of chromatin, are expressed as a family of sequence variants encoded by multiple genes. Because different histone variants can contribute to a distinct or unique nucleosomal architecture, this heterogeneity can be exploited to regulate a wide range of nuclear functions, and evidence is accumulating that histone variants do indeed have distinct functions.