In a new study, researchers have found a previously unknown feature in histones which is responsible for packaging and sequencing the DNA into structural units. The new finding will give scientists insights into how cells protect and repair DNA damage.
Histones are the highly alkaline protein that package and order the DAN into structural units called nucleosomes. Since, histones are the chief protein components of chromatin, they play a major role in regulation, and without histones, the unwound DNA would be very long. There five major families of histones — H1/H5, H2A, H2B, H3 and H4. H1 and H5 are the linker histones while the latter four (H2A, H2B, H3 and H4) are known as the core histones.
Histones are of great importance and play a crucial role in nearly every process related with DNA code. Researchers believe that finding new function of histones may unveil the process by cells repair DNA damage.
Lead study author Niels Mailand from the University of Copenhagen’s Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Protein Research said that the discovery is remarkable and histones are responsible for well being of cell. he further added that the study has given them the direction and still there’s a lot of work ahead.
According to Maidland, the function went unnoticed as most the research was conducted on the core histones in the international research. Scientists were too much focused on core histones while they gave little attention to the H1 histone, simply because they weren’t aware that it too influenced the repair process.
Now, the discovery has opened the new gates onto hitherto unknown and highly interesting territory. Finding the new H1 functionality has solved the important piece of puzzle of how cells protect and repair their DNA.
Maidland believes the finding will ignite interest in other researchers and will drag them to do more rigorous and detailed research on H1 histones. Also, it will help in developing a better DNA repair and with the help of it researchers can prevent the future disease that are caused due to DNA damage.
The appeared in the latest issue of scientific journal Nature.