Histones H1 and H4 of surface-spread meiotic chromosomes

Chromosoma. 1995 Nov;104(3):169-74. doi: 10.1007/BF00352181.


The chromatin conformation of somatic and meiotic chromosomes is, at least in part, a function of electrostatic nucleosome interactions that are mediated by transient acetylation of the histone H4 N-terminal domain and phosphorylation of histone H1. The distribution of those histones in the chromatin of meiotic chromosomes is reported here. Antibodies to testis-specific histone 1, H1t, detect H1t in the chromatin of mouse meiotic prophase chromosomes only after synapsis and synaptonemal complex (SC) assembly is completed and before core separation is initiated. The H1t protein is evenly distributed over euchromatin, heterochromatin and the SC. Antibodies to acetylated lysine residues 5, 12 or 16 of histone H4, indicate that the euchromatin is more acetylated than the centromeric heterochromatin. The pattern is most pronounced for acetylated residue 5 and least for 16. Antibodies to phosphorylated H1 epitopes do not react with chromatin but, instead, recognize the chromosome cores and SCs. Possibly these are not phosphorylated histone H1 epitopes, but SC proteins with similar potentially phosphorylatable sequences such as KTPTK of the synaptic protein Syn1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / ultrastructure*
  • Chromosomes / physiology
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Gene Expression
  • Heterochromatin / ultrastructure
  • Histones / analysis*
  • Histones / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Metaphase
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Synaptonemal Complex / physiology
  • Testis / cytology*
  • Testis / ultrastructure
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones