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

Transcriptionally active Xenopus laevis somatic 5 S ribosomal RNA genes are packaged with hyperacetylated histone H4, whereas transcriptionally silent oocyte genes are not.

The relationship between histone acetylation and transcription of the Xenopus laevis oocyte and somatic 5 S ribosomal RNA genes was investigated. Chromatin fragments from a X. laevis kidney cell line were immunoprecipitated with an antibody specific for hyperacetylated histone H4. The DNA from the hyperacetylated chromatin was probed with both oocyte- and somatic gene-specific sequences, and the results showed that the upstream, nontranscribed region of the transcriptionally active somatic genes is packaged with acetylated histone H4. In contrast, the corresponding region of the transcriptionally silent oocyte genes is packaged with hypoacetylated histone H4 in this cells line. Further study also showed that this region of the oocyte genes was less sensitive to digestion with the enzyme, micrococcal nuclease. Together these results suggest that, as described for both RNA polymerase I and II transcribed genes, there is a correlation between histone acetylation and transcription of the RNA polymerase III transcribed 5 S ribosomal RNA genes in X. laevis.[1]


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