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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Arginine-rich histones do not exchange between human and mouse chromosomes in hybrid cells.

Following division of HeLa-3T3 heterokaryons, human and mouse chromosomes occupy distinct regions within the resulting hybrid nuclei. This favorable orientation of genomes has allowed us to determine whether histones exchange between chromosomes in vivo. Acrylamide gel electrophoresis of the proteins from HeLa cells labeled with 3H-arginine during S phase showed that the core histones were labeled preferentially, constituting 30% of the total cellular tritium and 50% of the label in a crude nuclear fraction. Autoradiographic analysis of cells formed by fusion of 3H-arginine-labeled HeLa cells and 3T3-4E cells showed that 3H-arginine-labeled proteins did not migrate between nuclei in heterokaryons; hybrid cells formed from such heterokaryons contained nuclei in which 3H proteins occupied a sector within the nucleus; "sectored nuclei" could persist for at least 4 days; and the unequal distribution of 3H proteins did not change during DNA synthesis. Electron microscopic examination of hybrid nuclei failed to reveal a physical partition between human and mouse chromosome sets. Sectored nuclei were also observed in synkaryons derived from 3H-arginine-labeled HeLa and unlabeled HeLa cells, indicating that the unequal distribution of 3H-arginine-labeled proteins in HeLa-3T3 hybrid cells did not result from species-specific binding of proteins and DNA. The persistent unequal distribution of 3H-arginine-labeled proteins within hybrid nuclei in the apparent absence of a barrier between mouse and human chromosomes indicates that histones, the principal 3H-arginine-labeled proteins do not dissociate from DNA in vivo.[1]


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