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The proteolysis of the N- or the C-terminal tails of histones have recently emerged as a novel form of irreversible posttranslational modifications of histones. However, there are very few reports describing purification of a histone specific protease. Here, we report a histone H2A specific protease (H2Asp) activity in the chicken liver nuclear extract. The H2Asp was purified to homogeneity and was found to be a ~10.5kDa protein. It demonstrated high specificity to histone H2A and was an aspartic acid like protease as shown by protease inhibition assay. The H2Asp, in the in vitro cleavage assay generated a single clipped H2A product which comigrated along with histone H4 in the SDS-PAGE and migrated as a single band when single H2A was used as substrates. The expression of H2Asp was independent of age and was tissue specific, which was demonstrated only in the nuclear extracts of chicken liver and not from the same of other tissues like brain, muscles and erythrocytes. It was also seen that H2Asp activity also exists in other classes of vertebrates from Pisces to Mammals. This report forms the first such report describing purification of a histone H2A specific protease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Pragnya Panda, Madan M Chaturvedi, Amulya K Panda, Mrutyunjay Suar, Jogeswar Satchidananda Purohit. Purification and characterization of a novel histone H2A specific protease (H2Asp) from chicken liver nuclear extract. Gene. 2013 Jan 1;512(1):47-54

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PMID: 23041126

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