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In vitro phosphorylation of histones H1 and H3 by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A and endogenous phosphokinases in the presence of [γ-³²P]ATP was studied in isolated rat liver nuclei with different variants of chromatin structural organization: condensed (diameter of fibrils 100-200 nm; N-1) and partly decondensed (diameter of fibrils ~30 nm; N-2). In the N-1 state histone, H1 is phosphorylated approximately twice as much than histone H3. Upon the decondensation of the chromatin in the N-2 state, 1.5-fold decrease of total phosphorylation of H1 is observed, while that of H3 does not change, although the endogenous phosphorylation of both histones is reduced by half. Changes in histone phosphorylation in the presence of low or high concentrations of distamycin and chromomycin differ for H1 and H3 in N-1 and N-2. It was found that distamycin (DM) stimulates the phosphorylation of tightly bound H1 fraction, which is not extractable by polyglutamic acid (PG), especially in N-1. Chromomycin (CM) increases the phosphorylation of both histones in PG extracts and in the nuclear pellets, particularly in N-2. At the same time, in N-1 one can detect phosphorylation of a tightly bound fraction of histones H1 whose N-termini are located on AT-rich sites that become inaccessible for protein kinase in the process of chromatin decondensation in N-2. At the same time, in N-2 the accessibility for protein kinase A of tightly bound H1 fractions, whose N-termini are located on GC-rich sites, increases dramatically. High concentrations of both CM and DM in N-1 and N-2 stimulated phosphorylation of the non-extractable by PG fraction of H1 whose N-termini are located on sites where AT ≈ GC. CM at high concentration stimulated 4-7 times the phosphorylation of a small fraction of H3, which is extracted by PG from both types of nuclei. We detected an effect of endogenous methylation of histones H1 and H3 in the nuclei on their subsequent phosphorylation depending on the chromatin structure, histone-chromatin binding strength, and concentration of DM.


A N Prusov, T A Smirnova, G Ya Kolomijtseva. Influence of chromatin structure, antibiotics, and endogenous histone methylation on phosphorylation of histones H1 and H3 in the presence of protein kinase A in rat liver nuclei in vitro. Biochemistry. Biokhimii͡a. 2013 Feb;78(2):176-84

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PMID: 23581988

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