Spatiotemporal higher-order chromatin landscape of human histone gene clusters at histone locus bodies during the cell cycle in breast cancer progression

Gene. 2023 Jul 1:872:147441. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2023.147441. Epub 2023 Apr 23.


Human Histone Locus Bodies (HLBs) are nuclear subdomains comprised of clustered histone genes that are coordinately regulated throughout the cell cycle. We addressed temporal-spatial higher-order genome organization for time-dependent chromatin remodeling at HLBs that supports control of cell proliferation. Proximity distances of specific genomic contacts within histone gene clusters exhibit subtle changes during the G1 phase in MCF10 breast cancer progression model cell lines. This approach directly demonstrates that the two principal histone gene regulatory proteins, HINFP (H4 gene regulator) and NPAT, localize at chromatin loop anchor-points, denoted by CTCF binding, supporting the stringent requirement for histone biosynthesis to package newly replicated DNA as chromatin. We identified a novel enhancer region located ∼ 2 MB distal to histone gene sub-clusters on chromosome 6 that consistently makes genomic contacts with HLB chromatin and is bound by NPAT. During G1 progression the first DNA loops form between one of three histone gene sub-clusters bound by HINFP and the distal enhancer region. Our findings are consistent with a model that the HINFP/NPAT complex controls the formation and dynamic remodeling of higher-order genomic organization of histone gene clusters at HLBs in early to late G1 phase to support transcription of histone mRNAs in S phase.

Keywords: HINFP; HiC; Histone genes; Histone locus body (HLB); NPAT.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Female
  • Histones* / genetics
  • Histones* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Multigene Family
  • Nuclear Bodies


  • Histones
  • Chromatin
  • Cell Cycle Proteins