Histone 1, the guardian of genome stability

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Researchers have explained for the first time that the suppression of histone 1 causes cell damage and genomic instability…

Researchers have explained for the first time that the suppression of histone 1 causes cell damage and genomic instability, the deregulation of a commonly suppressed region of chromatin, called heterochromatin, leads to defects in information transcription, which in turn gives rise to the accumulation of DNA and RNA hybrids, the so-called R-loops, which are lethal.

“The deregulation of heterochromatin has disastrous consequences,” explains Associate Researcher Professor Jordi Bernués, from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine and coleader of the study.  Furthermore, the researcher team also observed that, in the presence of histone 1, these problems did not arise in spite of heterochromatin expression.

“Histone 1 not only serves as a repressor but also actively contributes to the removal of R-loops”. However, the researchers do not know how this function comes about. “The mechanism is what we want to study, how histone 1 prevents the mechanism from causing damage,” said Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) researcher ​​Anna Casas-Lamesa.

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