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

Methylation of Drosophila histones at proline, lysine, and arginine residues during heat shock.

Heat shock or arsenite treatment alter the pattern of histone methylation in Drosophila cells. Both types of stress induce a rapid increase in the methylation level of histone H2B. The methylated amino acid residue of H2B has been identified by thin layer chromatography and electrophoresis as methylproline and is located at the N-terminal end of H2B. Heat shock also induces a decrease in the level of methylation of histone H3. Under normal growth temperature conditions, histone H3 is shown to be methylated on lysine residues. However under heat shock conditions, there is a decrease in the extent of methylation of lysine residues and the appearance of new methylation on arginine residues in H3. These new heat shock-induced methylated residues have been identified as the symmetrical and asymmetrical forms of dimethylarginine. The methylated amino acid residue of histone H4 is lysine with mono-, di-, and trimethyl forms found in both control and heat or chemically stressed cells. These stress-induced changes in the methylation level of the N-terminal proline residue of histone H2B and shift in the methylation sites of histone H3 may be involved in the restructuration of chromatin accompanying the inactivation of normal genes in response to stress. Moreover, we suggest that the hypermethylation of H2B may also be involved in its protection from increased ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic activity under these conditions of cellular stress.[1]


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