Histone degradation by the proteasome regulates chromatin and cellular plasticity

FEBS J. 2022 Jun;289(12):3304-3316. doi: 10.1111/febs.15903. Epub 2021 May 13.


Histones constitute the primary protein building blocks of the chromatin and play key roles in the dynamic control of chromatin compaction and epigenetic regulation. Histones are regulated by intricate mechanisms that alter their functionality and stability, thereby expanding the regulation of chromatin-transacting processes. As such, histone degradation is tightly regulated to provide spatiotemporal control of cellular histone abundance. While several mechanisms have been implicated in controlling histone stability, here, we discuss proteasome-dependent degradation of histones and the protein modifications that are associated with it. We then highlight specific cellular and physiological states that are associated with altered histone degradation by cellular proteasomes.

Keywords: histone degradation; histone modifications; proteasome; ubiquitin.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Plasticity
  • Chromatin* / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex* / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex